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IT-SECURITY Tesla-hack: 19-year-old remotely controls around 25 vehicles

From Nicole Kareta

"So, I now have full remote control of over 25 Tesla's in 13 countries and there seems to be no way to find the owners and report it to them..." reads a January 10, 2022 tweet from Tesla hacker David Colombo. To warn owners, the 19-year-old IT security expert turned to social media.

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The security breach was caused by a third-party app that is actually primarily intended to allow vehicle owners to easily log and retrieve vehicle data.
The security breach was caused by a third-party app that is actually primarily intended to allow vehicle owners to easily log and retrieve vehicle data.
(Source: gemeinfrei / Pixabay )

19-year-old David Colombo from Dinkelsbühl, Germany, is currently making headlines after he announced via Twitter on January 10, 2022, that he had been able to hack at least 25 Tesla vehicles in 13 different countries and thus partially take them over. Specifically, this means he was able to play music at full volume and take control of windows and doors via remote control, among other things. In another comment on Twitter, the teenager points out how dangerous such a security breach could be - especially if the driver is currently on the highway.

Security issue not Tesla's fault

Fortunately, Colombo is not a dangerous hacker - as the founder of an IT security company, the young entrepreneur has only good intentions - and tried to warn the potential victims of hacking attacks. Consequently, he did not want to give any more specific details about the security flaw at first, until it was fixed. Colombo makes only one thing clear in advance: The fact that hackers could have remote access to important functions of Tesla vehicles is not a fault of the renowned car manufacturer, but a security flaw of third-party software used in the vehicles. It has since been revealed that the source of the flaw was a third-party app, which is actually primarily intended to allow vehicle owners to easily log and retrieve vehicle data.

As vehicles are increasingly equipped with smart features and Internet-enabled devices, the issue of cybersecurity has long since become more relevant. We can only hope that the limits will continue to be tested only with well-meaning intentions in the future and that it will become increasingly difficult for malicious hackers to overcome them.

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