Tesla said Wednesday that it has undertaken a security patch in the electronics in its luxury electric Model S Sedan after a Chinese security team hacked into the car's systems.
‘Tesla has already deployed an over-the-air software update that addresses the potential security issues’ of the hack, the company said in a statement.
Keen Security Lab, a unit of Chinese internet giant Tencent, announced on Monday that after a months-long effort it had discovered ‘multiple security vulnerabilities’ in the car and had been able to remotely control a car in both parking and driving mode.
Keen posted a video showing its ability to manipulate an unmodified Tesla remotely.
Keen said that after the hack it informed Tesla and said the two companies were cooperating on the issue.
‘Following the global industry practice on 'responsible disclosure' of product security vulnerabilities, we have reported the technical details of all the vulnerabilities discovered in the research to Tesla. The vulnerabilities have been confirmed by Tesla Product Security Team,’ it said.
Tesla downplayed the risk, saying the intrusion could only be carried out when the car's web browser is in use.
It ‘also required the car to be physically near to and connected to a malicious wifi hotspot,’ the company said.
‘Our realistic estimate is that the risk to our customers was very low, but this did not stop us from responding quickly.’
Tesla added that it would reward Keen under its ‘bug bounty program’ which is intended to encourage outsiders to probe its systems for weaknesses.
The security snafus are the latest woes for the Tesla's Model S, which saw a driver die in a crash in Florida earlier this year while using its Autopilot driver-assist program when the vehicle slammed into a truck.
Tesla shares were up 0.5 percent at $205.71 in early trade Wednesday.
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