A security researcher has been able to develop a new bluetooth attack that allows him to clone a Tesla keyfob and steal a Model X within minutes.
The hack was developed by Lennert Wouters, a security researcher at KU Leuven university in Belgium. In a report by Wired, Wouters claims he was able to detect a series of vulnerabilities in both the code of the Model X and its keyfob.
A combination of two of those vulnerabilities is what allowed him, and any hacker with the right equipment, the ability to not only gain access to the cars controls, but also steal it.
With equipment worth around $300 that is small enough to fit inside a backpack, the hack first needs the VIN, which is easily visible on the car’s windshield. While not moving more than about 15 feet away from the car, the equipment then extracts the radio code that unlocks the Model X, all in about 90 seconds.
Once inside, a second vulnerability pairs their own keyfob with the car, and just 60 seconds later the hacker can drive away in their new Model X.
Fortunately Wouters is what’s known as a white hat hacker, and informed Tesla of the vulnerabilities in August. According to the secutiry researcher, Tesla has told him they will begin deploying security patches as soon as this week, and that it could take as long as a month to fully roll it out across the affected vehicles.
You can see a demo of the hack in the video below.