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Tesla packs technology into vehicles, but needs to improve security

The Tesla S vehicle is packed with technology, but there are some security issues that need to be addressed.

Published Mon, Mar 31 2014 9:14 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:15 PM CDT

Tesla vehicles have generated a large amount of interest and controversy across the United States, though is in the headlines for a rather unexpected reason: a potential cybersecurity issue with the Tesla S vehicle.

Tesla packs technology into vehicles, but needs to improve security | TweakTown.com

The iPhone app for Tesla vehicles, which allows owners to control door locks, braking system, sunroof and other car functions, uses only a one-factor authentication system.

"The point here (and subsequent attack vectors) is that Tesla needs to implement an authentication mechanism that is beyond 1-factor," said Nitesh Dhanjani, security researcher, in a statement. "Attackers shouldn't be able to use traditional and well known attack vectors like phishing to remotely locate and unlock a $100K+ car built-in 2014."

Tesla's website doesn't have a limit to customer login attempts, allowing criminals to try and brute force their way in - something that will likely be fixed in the near future.

"In cases where the attacker is able to hack another website, he or she can use the usernames and credentials from the compromised accounts to attempt them on Tesla's website and APIs given that users have the tendency to reuse passwords."

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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