Tesla announce big bounty contest of $900,000 for hackers

Tesla cars have opened up its software and devices for a high-profile hacking contest that is being organized by Pwn2Own in Vancouver. The winner will get a Tesla Model 3, and there are other prizes of more than $900,000 worth.

The biggest prize of $250,000 will be awarded to one who will hack an execute code on the car’s gateway, autopilot, or Vehicle Controller Secondary (VCSEC). Gateway inside a car is responsible for the powertrain, chassis, and other components, while the autopilot is a driver assistant feature that is to help a driver in control lane changing, parking, and other driving functions, and VCSEC is for security functions.

“Tesla essentially pioneered the concept of the connected car with their Model 3 sedan, and in partnership with Tesla, we hope to encourage even more security research into connected vehicles as the category continues to expand,” the Zero Day Initiative said in its blog on the contest.

The hacking attack would be carried on a Model S mid-range rear wheel drive vehicle, and the target areas are:
·       Modem or tuner for $100,000
·       Wi-Fi or Bluethooth for $60,000
·       Three infotainment system targets for a total of $205,000
·       Gateway, autopilot or VCSEC for $250,000
·       Autopilot DoS for $50,000
·       Key FOB or phone-as-key for $100,000

A security researcher at Trend Micro said that “Since 2007, Pwn2Own has become an industry-leading contest that encourages new areas of vulnerability research on today’s most critical platforms.”

“Over the years we have added new targets and categories to direct research efforts toward areas of growing concern for businesses and consumers.”

 Tesla is the only car manufacturer who has openly participating in a hacking contest.

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