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Tesla cars, Bluetooth locks, vulnerable to hackers: Researchers



(Reuters) – Millions of digital locks worldwide, including on Tesla cars, can be remotely unlocked by hackers exploiting a vulnerability in Bluetooth technology, a cyber security company said on Tuesday.

In a video shared with Reuters, NCC Group researcher Sultan Qasim Khan was able to open and then drive a Tesla using a small relay unit connected to a laptop that bridged a large gap between Tesla and the Tesla owner’s phone.

“This proves that all products that rely on a reliable BLE connection are vulnerable to attacks from the other side of the world as well,” the British company said in a statement, referring to the Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol – technology used in millions of cars and smart locks that open automatically when in the vicinity of an authorized device.

Although Khan demonstrated the hack on a 2021

Tesla Model Y, the NCC Group said that all smart locks using BLE technology, including smart locks for homes, could be unlocked in the same way.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NCC Group said that such a vulnerability was not like a traditional bug that could be fixed with a software patch and added BLE-based authentication was not originally designed for use in locking mechanisms.

“In fact, systems that people rely on to protect their cars, homes and private data use Bluetooth proximity authentication mechanisms that can be easily broken with cheap off-the-shelf hardware,” the company said.

“This research illustrates the dangers of using technology for reasons other than their intended purpose, especially when security issues are involved.”


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