Security slip lets crims locate, unlock Tesla model S roadster

Security slip lets crims locate, unlock Tesla model S roadster

Web app for $200,000 car lacks second factor authentication.

Criminals have a new vector of attack to steal the $200,000 Tesla model S car thanks to security risks that permit unlimited log in attempts of online control panels and effective phishing of passwords.

Among the security risks identified is the ability for hackers to continuously enter passwords without restriction into the car's web login panel which allows a model S to be remotely located and unlocked.

Security across network-capable cars such as the model S was consistently found to be slack, and if it did not improve, botnets may in the future target vehicles, possibly tracking and attacking fleets, the researcher who found the flaws hypothesised.

Hackers could brute-force the passwords for the model S login page -- in which scores of combinations were entered against a given username without interruption -- because Tesla did not employ any second-factor authentication such as tokens or apps such as the Google Authenticator. 

This was perhaps the most risky vector of attack because it meant drivers and Tesla staff, who could unlock customer cars, could be targeted in cunning spear phishing attacks aiming to steal passwords.

If usernames and passwords were lost, there would be no security mechanism preventing attackers from logging in and potentially stealing cars.

"Users have a tendency to re-use their credentials on other services as well," researcher Nitesh Dhanjani (@nitesh_dhanjani) saidTesla's iOS app

"This creates a situation where an attacker that has compromised a major website can attempt to try the same password credentials on Tesla website and iPhone app."

This process could be easily automated to target multiple cars.

Tesla was discreetly contacted by the researcher but has not commented.

Dhanjani had also found three IP-enabled devices in his Tesla model S which may have been the cars' dashboard and console which had risky exposed network services including SSH and HTTP.

Much work has been done in examining the security architectures of cars. The most famous of these was the many months of work research duo Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek spent tearing apart and hacking a Toyota Prius and Ford Escape to control its breaks and other functions.

The two were icons in a burgeoning scene of academics and security boffins who along with a thriving but fragmented assortment of rev-head hobbyist geeks are battering the digital fabric powering modern-day cars.

A lot of hacking was focused on Controller Area Networks (CANs) embedded into many cars in use today. This allowed alarms, speedos, brakes and door locks to be altered, but provided for legitimate uses including modifying fuel injection and monitoring precise performance.

Source: Copyright © PC & Tech Authority. All rights reserved.

See more about:  tesla  |  security  |  infosec  |  phishing  |  car  |  auto  |  security risks  |  nitesh dhanjani
 
 

Readers of this article also read...

A user's guide to surviving Trump 

A user's guide to surviving Trump

 
Sorry Graeme, your legal sticks won’t stop piracy 

Sorry Graeme, your legal sticks won’t stop piracy

 
Sun Tzu and The Art of... Wargaming 

Sun Tzu and The Art of... Wargaming

 
Gallery: The PCs of PAX Australia 2016 

Gallery: The PCs of PAX Australia 2016

 
How should we teach our kids to use digital media? 

How should we teach our kids to use digital media?

 
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Epson's 100ppm inkjet coming soon
24 Mar 2017
The Epson WorkForce Enterprise is the "most powerful office printing system ever built", capable ...
ReadyNAS RN214 review: Netgear's easy-to-use four-bay NAS
16 Mar 2017
Looking for a business-class four-bay network-attached storage device that’s easy to use? ...
How the CIA hacking tools allegedly work: inside the WikiLeaks files
8 Mar 2017
WikiLeaks reveals how the CIA has allegedly hacked into Samsung TVs, iPhones, Android phones, ...
Spammers 'leak database of 1.4 billion users'
8 Mar 2017
Spammer's data hoard – which includes real names, email addresses and in some cases home ...
Beware of fake 'ASIC' email carrying ransomware
6 Mar 2017
Security provider MailGuard says it has detected "one of the largest-scale fraud inundations" in ...

Latest Comments

From our Partners

PC & Tech Authority Downloads