Hackers to compete to compromise Tesla's S Sedan

While Tesla isn't quite giving its official seal of approval, it pledges to rectify any weaknesses uncovered in the competition

SyScan +360, a competition being held in Beijing, is offering USD$10,000 to anyone who can hack the Tesla Model S sedan. Beijing-based security company Qihoo 360 Technology Co. has stated that the Model S’s locks, horns, headlights and skylights could be controlled remotely even while the car is in motion.

That said, perhaps for ethical consideration, they’ve remained light on the details otherwise. Wu Jing, a director of investor relations, only stated it vaguely as findings of their information technology department.

It's OK, we'll fix what you can break

As supportive as can be, Tesla Motors has stated they will rectify and investigate any confirmed vulnerabilities that surface through the competition. In an email, they’ve also urged the security researchers to act responsibly and in good faith.

The email goes on to say, “while Tesla is not associated with the conference and is not a sponsor of the competition, we support the idea of providing an environment in which responsible security researchers can help identify potential vulnerabilities.” Hack the car and report your findings responsibly (following company procedure, mind you) so we won’t have to pay for quality testing please and thank you.

Let's hope this attempt at mild collaboration between corporation and hacker does not backfire too terribly. Being somewhat aware of the fine line they’re pushing, the email ends with an urgent plea not to target Tesla’s networks, servers or its website.

Last month, Tesla’s CEO said their car’s patents will be open source and free of charge as the company seeks widespread adoption of electric cars. Indeed, with open source car blueprints we only need the right 3D printer and we may finally glimpse the golden age of downloadable cars.

The company had begun shipping cars to China in April and will hope to match volumes in the US by 2015.

READ MORE: Why does Tesla want to give away its patents?

[Source: Chicago Tribune]

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