Prior to yesterday, I hadn’t ever heard of a car manufacturing company named Tesla. I was aware of the Tesla tower and Nikola Tesla, but not of the popular car company. Apparently, Tesla is very big on cybersecurity as it has computers to control various things within their cars. One of the models, the Tesla Model S, is not as secure as they’d like.
Of course, Tesla is aware that every program has bugs, so they have a bug bounty program – I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I’d assume that they either pay people to find bugs or pay people when/if those people find bugs. Either way, a group of researchers from a Chinese company named Tencent found a way to hack into the Model S. Once in, they were able to control some functions of the car. Some of the things were rather trivial: they could turn on the windshield wipers, open the sunroof, and open the trunk. Other things that the hackers could control would be quite dangerous or otherwise bad: they could control braking, locking the doors, and turning the side view mirrors.
Computers in cars have always made us rather uneasy, which is why we’ve never liked the idea of self-driving cars. It’s also why we don’t like really new cars, as most new cars have some form of a computer in them. Reading this article, I realize that our dislike is, in fact, justified! What do you think about computers in cars?