Hackers can steal a Tesla by cloning its key fob2018-09-11 14:40 by Daniela
A team of researchers discovered a way to hack a Tesla key fob remotely. To execute the hack takes less than two seconds. Tesla uses a keyless entry system made by a company called Pektron, which used a relatively weak encryption for the locks. The researchers made a six-terabyte table of possible code combinations, which has roughly 2^16 possible keys.
"Today it's very easy for us to clone these key fobs in a matter of seconds," says Lennert Wouters, a researcher at KU Leuven in a statement to Wired. "We can completely impersonate the key fob and open and drive the vehicle."
The attack is particularly significant because Tesla pioneered the keyless entry concept, which has since spread to most luxury cars. This particular attack seems to have only worked on Model S units shipped before June, and in an update last week, Tesla pushed out an update that strengthened the encryption for the remaining vehicles.
More importantly, the company added the option to require a PIN password before the car will start, effectively adding two-factor to your car. At the time, it seemed like overkill — but knowing that this kind of attack is possible, it's probably worth turning on. Tesla owners can add the PIN by disabling Passive Entry in the "Doors & Locks" section of "Settings."
Tesla paid the researchers at the university a $10,000 bounty for finding the vulnerability and then went about fixing the issue.
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