Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

The 19-year-old security researcher said the software flaw he exploited was not within Tesla’s software or infrastructure.

By Bloomberg

A 19-year-old security researcher claims to have broken into more than 25 Tesla Inc. cars in 13 countries at a distance, and says in a series of tweets that a software error allowed him to gain access to the EV pioneer’s systems to get.

David Colombo, a self-described information technology specialist, tweeted on Tuesday that the software bug allowed him to unlock doors and windows, turn on the cars without keys and deactivate their security systems.

Colombo also claimed he could see if a driver was present in the car, turn on the vehicles’ stereo sound systems and flash their headlights.

The teen did not disclose the exact details of the software vulnerability, but said it was not within Tesla’s software or infrastructure, adding that only a small number of Tesla owners were affected worldwide. His Twitter thread elicited a strong response, with more than 800 deer tweets and more than 6,000 likes.

“It’s primarily the owners’ (and a third party’s) fault,” Colombo said in response to questions from Bloomberg News. “This will be described in more detail in my writing. But happy to see how Tesla behaves now. ”

A representative for Tesla in China declined to comment, while the automaker’s global press team did not respond to a request for comment outside of West Coast business hours.

According to one online report, the 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 was in contact with Tesla’s security team and said they were investigating the issue. The team said they would get back to him with any updates, he said.

(Colombo Response Updates in Fifth Paragraph.)

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