You can unlock a Tesla Model 3 by walking up to it with your phone in your pocket or by tapping a key card on the side of the car door. But there may be another way in: by exposing security flaws of the car’s built-in computer.
Or at least, that’s what Tesla is officially investigating. According to Teslarati, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company is offering up a mid-range rear-wheel-drive Model 3 — valued at roughly $33,000 USD — to anybody savvy enough to gain access without a legitimate key card or authenticated smartphone.
Hackers will have three days as part of the “Pwn2Own” contest, held at the Vancouver-based CanSec West security conference in March. Tesla will provide the Model 3.
Tesla launched its bug bounty program, which is essentially a way to reward hackers for exposing security flaws, back in 2014. According to bugcrowd.com — a crowdsourced security platform that Tesla uses — hackers have to disclose the exact vulnerability they found related to Tesla’s vehicles. The company will pay rewards ranging from $100 to $15,000 depending on the severity.
Since the start of its bug bounty program, Tesla has introduced new security measures in response, adding cryptographic software validation to both its smartphone app and key fobs.
It’s a win-win for one of the most successful EV manufacturers: make their cars secure, while also creating some more hype for the best-selling luxury car in the U.S. in 2018.
READ MORE: Tesla is giving away a Model 3 in Pwn2Own hacking contest [Teslarati]
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