New Car Hacking Research: 2017, Remote Attack Tesla Motors Again

by Keen Security Lab of Tencent

Keen Lab discovered new security vulnerabilities on Tesla motors and realized full attack chain to implement arbitrary CAN BUS and ECUs remote controls on Tesla motors with latest firmware.

Several highlights for 2017 Tesla Research:

  • Realized full attack chain as we did in year 2016 to implement arbitrary CAN BUS and ECUs remote controls.
  • Discovered multiple 0Days in different modules. Currently, Keen Lab is working with Tesla and related manufactures on assigning CVE number of the vulnerabilities.
  • Tesla implemented a new security mechanism “code signing” to do signature integrity check of system firmware that will be FOTAed to Tesla motors in Sept 2016. The code signing was bypassed by Keen Lab.
  • The “Group lighting show of Model X” in our demonstration is technically arbitrary remote controls on multiple ECUs at the same time. It shows Keen Lab’s research capability on CAN BUS and ECUs.

Keen Lab has followed “responsible disclosure” process to reported all security vulnerabilities and related exploitations to Tesla. Tesla Product Security Team has verified and confirmed all the bugs in our report. Security patches have been made and updated to motors via FOTA efficiently in July. The reported issues affect multiple models of Tesla motors. Based on Tesla’s report, most of the active Tesla motors have been updated to new firmware with patches via FOTA. We appreciate Tesla Product Security Team for their quick response, quick fix and efficient patching via FOTA.

Reminder to Tesla car owners: Please check if your car is with the firmware version 8.1 (17.26.0) or later. If NOT, please upgrade to the latest firmware to ensure all the issues are fixed.

The video below demonstrates the impact of our remote attack vector. REMINDER: WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IN THIS VIDEO ARE PERFORMED BY PROFESSIONAL RESEARCHERS, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Appreciate Tencent Auto for the contributions on publishing this demonstration.