Pwn2Own is a well-known hacking competition that takes place annually. In this competition, security researchers and hackers try to exploit vulnerabilities in various devices and software to demonstrate their skills and earn prize money. One of the most talked-about events of Pwn2Own 2020 was the successful hacking of a Tesla Model 3 by a group of researchers who were able to gain control of the car’s infotainment system. This article will discuss the details of the Pwn2Own Tesla 800k Greig hack.
Background on Pwn2Own and the Tesla Model 3
Pwn2Own has been running since 2007 and has become a significant event in cybersecurity. The competition incentivizes security researchers to identify and report vulnerabilities in popular software and hardware products before malicious actors can exploit them. The Tesla Model 3 was first included in the competition in 2019 to identify any security weaknesses in the vehicle’s software.
Pwn2Own Tesla 800k Greig:
The Pwn2Own Tesla 800k Greig hack was carried out by a team of security researchers from the Chinese firm Qihoo 360, led by a researcher known as “Amat Cama.” The team took control of the Tesla Model 3’s infotainment system using a JIT bug in the renderer process. The researchers used this exploit to execute code remotely and gain control of the car’s CAN bus, which controls many of the car’s systems.
Exploiting the JIT bug:
The researchers found a vulnerability in the renderer process of the car’s infotainment system. This vulnerability was a JIT bug, allowing researchers to execute arbitrary code remotely. A JIT bug is a type of vulnerability that occurs when a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler does not correctly validate the code it is compiling, allowing attackers to execute arbitrary code on the system.
Gaining control of the CAN bus:
Once the researchers could execute code remotely, they could gain control of the car’s Controller Area Network (CAN) bus. The CAN bus is a system that allows various car components to communicate with each other. By gaining control of the CAN bus, the researchers could control many of the car’s systems, including the brakes and steering.
Implications of the hack:
The Pwn2Own Tesla 800k Greig hack has significant implications for the security of Tesla’s cars. By gaining control of the car’s infotainment system and CAN bus, the researchers demonstrated that attackers could take control of a Tesla car remotely. This is a significant concern for Tesla, as the company’s cars are becoming increasingly connected and automated.
Tesla responded to the Pwn2Own Tesla 800k Greig hack by releasing a patch for the exploited vulnerability. The company also emphasized that the researchers did not gain access to the car’s core systems, such as the powertrain and braking systems. Tesla stated that the hack was a “research-grade” attack and that there is no indication that it has been used in the real world.
The Pwn2Own Tesla 800k Greig hack was a significant event that demonstrated the vulnerabilities of Tesla’s cars. The hack highlights the need for increased security measures in connected and automated vehicles. Tesla responded quickly to the hack and released a patch for the exploited vulnerability. However, the hack raises concerns about the security of Tesla’s cars and the potential for attackers to take control of them remotely. As Tesla continues to develop and sell more connected and automated cars, it must ensure that its vehicles are secure from cyber-attacks.
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