White-Hat Hackers Outsmart Tesla at Pwn2Own Automotive 2024

by AutoExpert   |  5 February, 2024

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You won’t believe what went down recently in the world of tech. Picture this: a band of white-hat hackers just outsmarted Tesla not once, but twice, and it all went down at this crazy event in Japan called Pwn2Own Automotive 2024.

Imagine a room full of brainiacs with their laptops, all trying to out-hack each other for a good cause (and some serious cash). So, there’s this group called Synacktiv, right? These guys are like the Ocean's Eleven of the hacking world.

Tesla

On day one, they cracked Tesla's modem wide open and walked away with a hefty $100,000. But guess what? They came back the next day, hungry for more, and took another $100,000 after they played around with Tesla's infotainment system.

Tesla

And they didn’t stop there; they went after everything from the software running your car to those fancy EV charging stations. Now, with cars basically becoming computers on wheels, you can imagine why keeping them safe from hackers is becoming a big deal. It’s not just about making sure your playlist doesn’t skip a beat; it's also about keeping your personal info safe from prying eyes.

Tesla

The whole shebang at Pwn2Own is about shining a spotlight on these sneaky vulnerabilities so they can get fixed up before any real baddies take advantage. Over three adrenaline-pumped days, the event organizers found 49 tech weak spots and dished out over a million bucks in prizes.

And our heroes, Synacktiv, took home the crown, scooping up $450,000 and some serious street cred. Oh, and get this: last year, they managed to hack into a Tesla Model 3’s brain in less time than it takes to order a pizza, snagging not just cash but an actual car. Talk about a high-speed chase!

Tesla

But here’s the kicker: it’s not just for the thrill or the payday. These hacks, while super cool, uncover some pretty gnarly gaps in security. There was even this one time hackers unlocked all these paid features in a Tesla for free, just to prove a point.

And then there was the discovery of a "God Mode" in the Tesla self-driving software, cheekily named "Elon Mode," that lets the car drive with fewer reminders to keep your hands on the wheel.

Tesla

It's like a wake-up call for Tesla and all car makers to buckle up and double down on security. Because as our cars get smarter, so do the hackers. And we’re all here for the ride, hoping the good guys keep winning. Keep your eyes peeled, and your software updated, folks

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