Owners of more than 25 Tesla cars in 13 countries around the world may be surprised to learn that their vehicles have apparently been hacked into remotely by a security researcher in Germany, who says he has discovered a software flaw in the EV pioneer's systems.
David Colombo, a 19-year-old self-described information technology specialist, tweeted Tuesday that the software flaw allows him to unlock doors and windows, start the cars without keys and disable their security systems.
Colombo also claimed he can see if a driver is present in the car, turn on the vehicles’ stereo sound systems and flash their headlights.
The teenager did not reveal the exact details of the software vulnerability, but said it was not within Tesla’s software or infrastructure and added that only a small number of Tesla owners globally were affected.
A message to Colombo on Twitter seeking comment was not immediately answered. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. According to one online report, US-based Tesla has a vulnerability disclosure platform where security researchers can register their own vehicles for testing, which Tesla can pre-approve.
The company pays up to $15,000 for a qualifying vulnerability. Colombo later tweeted he has been in touch with Tesla’s security team, who are investigating the issue and will come back to him with any updates. - Bloomberg