He claims to be able to remotely control 25 Teslas: A German safety researcher has found a critical loophole in electric cars. But he also says it's not Tesla's fault.

A 19-year-old German says he can control Teslas remotely.

19 -Year-old says he can remotely control Teslas

According to his own information, the security researcher had access to over 25 cars in 13 countries.

19 -Year-old says he can control Tesla remotely

Among other things, he could operate the entertainment system or horn.

That's what

  • David Colombo is a security researcher from Dinkelsbühl in the German Middle Franconia.

  • From there, the 19-year-old can go with his Remote control of Tesla's PC in 13 countries.

  • This is made possible by a security hole that he discovered, as he says on Twitter.

“It was crazy when I discovered that,” said 19-year-old David Colombo to the IT portal ISMG. According to its own information, the German security researcher has discovered a critical loophole with which it is possible to remotely control Tesla. “I could see the owners going shopping or driving to work, and I knew I would be able to control certain aspects of their vehicles,” says Colombo.

According to the information provided by the security researcher, he is able to query the location of the vehicles. He can also deactivate the so-called sentry mode, a surveillance mode that is part of Tesla's security system with motion sensors and cameras. He can also see whether someone is sitting in the vehicle, horn, open the doors and manipulate the entertainment system. According to Colombo, however, it is not possible to control the steering, acceleration or braking.

«Tesla is not to blame»

He had access to more than 25 Teslas in 13 countries, according to a tweet from Colombo. He could not inform the car owners concerned because he could not find out the names. In one case, however, he saw a name given to the car: “Red Dwarf”, red dwarf.

As Colombo emphasizes, it is not Tesla's fault that he can control the cars remotely. “It's not a weak point in Tesla's infrastructure. It's a mistake by the owner, ”he explains on Twitter. But he is in contact with the Tesla security team. The German therefore deliberately does not disclose the exact details of the security gap. But he says that only a small number of people are affected.

Engine stalled

It is not surprising that newer cars are susceptible to such attacks. After all, modern vehicles these days are practically rolling computers. There was a vivid example of this, among others, in 2015. At that time, two safety researchers remotely stalled the engine of a Jeep Cherokee on the freeway at full speed after they activated the windshield wipers and turned the car radio on fully without the initiated journalist, who sat in the car, could park it. Automaker Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars in the US after the hack.

Vehicles that were sold in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) were not affected by this type of attack, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles told 20 Minuten at the time. The integrated cellular module that was used for the attack was not installed in vehicles that were sold outside the USA.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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