Automotive

Tesla tempts white-hat hackers with a Model 3 as a target, and a prize

For years, Tesla has been leveraging the minds of the white-hat hackers to uncover weaknesses in its software
For years, Tesla has been leveraging the minds of the white-hat hackers to uncover weaknesses in its software
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For years, Tesla has been leveraging the minds of the white-hat hackers to uncover weaknesses in its software
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For years, Tesla has been leveraging the minds of the white-hat hackers to uncover weaknesses in its software
Since 2007, the Pwn2Own computer hacking contest has tasked security researchers with finding new holes in common software and devices, but never before has a car been up for grabs. Tesla will be offering up a Model 3 as a target for hackers at this year’s event
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Since 2007, the Pwn2Own computer hacking contest has tasked security researchers with finding new holes in common software and devices, but never before has a car been up for grabs. Tesla will be offering up a Model 3 as a target for hackers at this year’s event

Since 2007, the Pwn2Own computer hacking contest has tasked security researchers with finding new holes in common software and devices, but never before has a car been up for grabs. Tesla will be offering a Model 3 as a target for hackers at this year's event, who will battle it out for the keys to the increasingly popular electric sedan.

Winners of Pwn2Own in years past have taken home laptops, mobile phones and other gadgets to fall victim to their hacking abilities, along with significant cash prizes. This year organizers have introduced an automotive category for the first time, with Tesla's Model 3 serving as its very first subject.

For years, Tesla has been leveraging the minds of the white-hat hackers to uncover weaknesses in its software through the platform Bugcrowd, with rewards ranging from US$100 to $15,000 for each vulnerability reported. It has rewarded 324 vulnerabilities in total using the platform.

There will be significantly more money on offer for hackers able to crack Tesla's code at Pwn2Own 2019. The serious money is tied to the company's gateway, Autopilot and VCSEC software. These together are responsible for data around the car's powertrain, chassis, security functions and autonomous driving capabilities, like lane changing and parking. A successful exploit carries a cash prize of $250,000.

Since 2007, the Pwn2Own computer hacking contest has tasked security researchers with finding new holes in common software and devices, but never before has a car been up for grabs. Tesla will be offering up a Model 3 as a target for hackers at this year’s event
Since 2007, the Pwn2Own computer hacking contest has tasked security researchers with finding new holes in common software and devices, but never before has a car been up for grabs. Tesla will be offering up a Model 3 as a target for hackers at this year’s event

Other individual cash carrots hang over the company's infotainment systems, its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and key fobs. The overall winner of the category, however, will drive home in a brand new, mid-range, rear wheel-drive Tesla Model 3.

"We look forward to learning about, and rewarding, great work in Pwn2Own so that we can continue to improve our products and our approach to designing inherently secure systems," says David Lau, Vice President of Vehicle Software at Tesla.

Pwn2Own is part of the CanSecWest conference, which takes place in Vancouver March 20 to 22.

Source: Zero Day Initiative

3 comments
Wolf0579
Bravo, Mr. Musk!
Grunchy
Hack my Dodge. Cannot be done. (hint: no computer onboard)
Nobody
I'm glad they are trying to increase security but computers are inherently vulnerable and always will be. Someone winning the prize doesn't give me much comfort. I already hate most of the computer functions on my car already. Traction control and anti-skid being the ones I dislike the most. I can handle the car far better without them on slick pavement. On dry pavement they aren't even useful unless you have a huge amount of horsepower (like a Corvette) and the computer is programmed for very aggressive levels of driving.
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