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At last weekend’s Defcon conference in Las Vegas, car hacking was one of the hot topics, with a Car Hacking village and hands-on classes in how to hack into a car’s onboard computers.
The revelation before the conference by security experts Marc Rogers and Kevin Mahaffey that they had successfully hacked a Tesla Model S — and Tesla’s immediate over-the-air software patch in response that closed breach in the car’s security systems — brought into relief the vulnerability of increasingly connected cars to malicious computer attacks.
The fact that the Model S, the car that hackers regard as the best defended against malicious computer attacks, could be breached raises serious questions about mass-produced cars with less robust security, experts at the conference told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Tesla uses the word ‘security’ when they develop a vehicle, but most [manufacturers] don’t,” said Robert Leale, an expert on automotive computer security and organizer of Defcon’s Car Hacking Village. “I think the OEMs are realizing they can’t ignore the problem anymore. We’re seeing the conversation happen but it should have happened 10 years ago.”
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