Despite Elon Musk crowding out Bill Gates to become the second richest person in the world, and Tesla’s shares soaring to bring the company’s market cap to over $500 billion, there are still a lot of headaches that the flamboyant electric vehicle manufacturer has to battle with.
Not only is Tesla facing a major Chinese recall over its Model X and Model S suspension defects, as well as 159,000 Tesla owners finding out that their vehicle’s infotainment systems are failing due to deterioration, followed by Consumer Reports removing the ‘recommend’ rating on Tesla’s Model S, but now to top it all off a researcher has figured out how to hack and steal a Model X for under $300.
According to Wired, a security researcher by the name of Lennert Wouters from the KU Leuven University in Belgium has discovered several vulnerabilities plaguing the Model X that not only allowed him to gain access into the car, but also drive it away within a matter of minutes. Wouters came across the unintended flaw back in August, and luckily for Tesla he disclosed the issue to the automaker instead of revealing it to individuals that steal vehicles for a living.
In order to gain access to a Model X, Wouters first purchased a hardware kit for approximately $300 that is compact enough to fit inside a backpack and can be controlled via smartphone. The second part of the successful heist required a Model X body control module (BCM), which ultimately enables the vehicle’s vulnerability and can be purchased on eBay. In just over a minute, the hardware is able to extract a radio code that unlocks the Model X, allowing the thief inside. Once inside, the thief can then pair a new key fob within seconds by only knowing the last five digits of the vehicle’s VIN. From there, the Model X can be started and promptly driven away.
Although Wouters revealed the issue to Tesla several months ago, the EV automaker is expected to only begin rolling out a new key fob software update – or possibly even several components of the Model X that would at least prevent the first step of the hack – next week.
Information for this briefing was found via Wired. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.