Cybersecurity researchers on Friday are publicizing software flaws in the Tesla Model S that could allow remote hackers to shut down a moving car’s engine. But owners of the high-tech luxury sedan have little need to worry. The electric-car maker quickly deployed a fix over the Internet. As cars loaded with on-board computers increasingly add wireless connections they are becoming more vulnerable to hackers, as seen recently with a Jeep Cherokee. Tesla’s response offers a model for how other automakers can address the increasing threat of computer attacks. Tesla owners get prompted on their cars’ infotainment screens to download software updates, the same way smartphone users do. The consultants who found the Model S flaws — Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and chief technology officer of Lookout Inc., and Marc Rogers, principal security researcher for CloudFlare Inc. — revealed the vulnerabilities earlier this week ahead of a presentationFriday at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas. The pair discovered six key weaknesses in the vehicle, alerted Tesla Motors Inc. and coordinated their disclosure with a fix from the automaker to reduce the risk to owners of the car, which starts at $70,000. Two-Edged Sword Such responsible disclosure, as the process is known […]
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