Wednesday July 17, 2019
Home Lead Story Researchers E...

Researchers Extract Personal and Encrypted Data from Junked Tesla Cars

According to the report, data stored on Tesla models is not automatically erased when the car is hauled away from an accident site or sold at auction

0
//
tesla
"We are committed to finding and improving upon the right balance between technical vehicle needs and the privacy of customers," the Tesla spokesperson said. Pixabay

 In a shocking revelation, security researchers have extracted personal and unencrypted data — videos, phonebooks, calendar items — of Tesla users from crashed models sold at junkyards and auctions.

According to a CNBC report, a security researcher who goes by the name GreenTheOnly extracted data from the computers in salvaged Tesla Model S, Model X and two Model 3 vehicles.

“The computers on Tesla vehicles keep everything that drivers have voluntarily stored on their cars, plus tons of other information generated by the vehicles, including video, location and navigational data showing exactly what happened leading up to a crash,” the report claimed on Friday, citing researchers.

A Tesla spokesperson told CNBC the company offers options that customers can use to protect personal data stored on their car. “It includes a factory reset option for deleting personal data and restoring customised settings to factory defaults, and a Valet Mode for hiding personal data (among other functions) when giving their keys to a valet,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

tesla
According to the report, data stored on Tesla models is not automatically erased when the car is hauled away from an accident site or sold at auction. Pixabay

“We are committed to finding and improving upon the right balance between technical vehicle needs and the privacy of customers,” the Tesla spokesperson said.

According to the report, data stored on Tesla models is not automatically erased when the car is hauled away from an accident site or sold at auction.

GreenTheOnly and his fellow white-hat hacker “Theo” bought a wrecked Model 3 to evaluate the data that remains in the car’s computers after a crash. They extracted records that showed the car’s computers had stored data from at least 17 different devices.

“Mobile phones or tablets had paired to the car around 170 times. The Model 3 held 11 phonebooks’ worth of contact information from drivers or passengers who had paired their devices, and calendar entries with descriptions of planned appointments, and e-mail addresses of those invited,” the report said.

Tesla recently had to give away one of their Model 3 cars and $35,000 prize money to a group of hackers after they cracked its system at a hacking event.

tesla
Tesla recently had to give away one of their Model 3 cars and $35,000 prize money to a group of hackers after they cracked its system at a hacking event. PIxabay

ALSO READ: Japanese Refineries Put Halt on Imports of Iranian Oil as Waiver Nears End

Amat Cama and Richard Zhu of team Fluoroacetate exposed vulnerability in the vehicle system during the Pwn2Own 2019 hacking competition, organised by Trend Micro’s “Zero Day Initiative (ZDI)”, in Vancouver, Canada, this week.

As part of Tesla’s bug bounty programme, the company has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in rewards to hackers who exposed vulnerabilities in its systems.

The electric car maker was fairly quick to fix vulnerabilities exposed by white hat hackers. (IANS)

Next Story

Tesla Cars Explosion in China Prompt Battery Upgrades

As Tesla works towards improving its cars, the company “believes the right number of incidents to aspire to is zero,” the report noted

0
tesla
Visitors inspect Tesla electric cars at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, Jan. 18, 2019. VOA

After two cases of cars exploding in China, electric vehicle (EV)-maker Tesla is planning to upgrade the battery systems of some of its cars.

The decision comes after a Tesla vehicle caught fire in Hong Kong last week, marking the second time a Tesla was found burning recently, CNN reported on Saturday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles,” the report quoted the company spokesperson as saying.

Last month, a viral footage showed a Tesla Model S appearing to explode at a car park in Shanghai.

Tesla, car insurance
A sales staff chats with a customer at a Tesla store near a poster announcing orders of the Model 3 electric cars in Beijing, China, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

The company said it sent a team to the site of the Hong Kong fire to investigate the incident alongside the Chinese authorities.

EVs are generally far less likely to catch fire than gasoline vehicles.

Also Read- Huawei Open to Addressing US Security Concerns

The EV-maker also said its battery packs are designed “so that in the very rare instance a fire does occur, it spreads very slowly and vents heat away from the cabin, alerting occupants that there is an issue and giving them enough time to exit the vehicle,” the spokesperson added.

As Tesla works towards improving its cars, the company “believes the right number of incidents to aspire to is zero,” the report noted. (IANS)