German hackers say they managed to unlock paid options in a Tesla. For example, hundreds or even thousands of euros worth of upgrades can be activated for free.
Students and researchers at the Technical University of Berlin say they have managed to activate options in a Tesla. Things that are already standard in the car but can be activated with payment can be used for free by hacking the car. TechCrunch reports this based on an interview with a student involved in the project.
According to that student, the Tesla in question can now use heated seats in the back without having to pay for it. “We’re not malicious outsiders, we own this car and didn’t want to pay $300 for heated rear seats,” he said. In theory, it should also be possible to unlock other options, as they can give the car the idea that it is connected to Tesla’s network. For example, Full Self-Driving could even be used if the car has the preparation for this on board.
The hackers managed to do it by making some changes to the power supply to the processor of the infotainment system. This would confuse the controlling computer and make it susceptible to code written by hackers. This is how things are led around the garden.
According to the researchers, even more can be achieved in this way, because personal data stored in the car and the user history of the car, for example, can be retrieved via the same route. The hackers, therefore, warn that it is not only in the interest of Tesla but also of Tesla owners that this leak is closed. This coming weekend, the hackers will present what they have achieved at a conference in Las Vegas. Tesla is probably keeping a close eye on it. The hackers already state that hardware must actually be replaced to prevent this hack.