Apparently, attacking and cloning a Tesla Model S key fob took researchers only seconds.
A group of expert researchers at the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography research group (COSIC) at the University of Leuven, Belgium recently exposed a security issue with keyless entry and vehicle-start technology used in Tesla vehicles. The group was able to unlock and start two Tesla Model S sedans by attacking and cloning the cars' key fobs.
Pektron software produces the technology, which is also used by other brands like McLaren. The researchers confirmed that the system is much easier to hack than other similar technologies. This is because the hackers can perform the breach without being close to the cars and the key fob at the same time. You can watch them work their magic in the video above.
According to McLaren, this new research does prove a:
theoretical vulnerability in our vehicle security systems ... (however it has) not been proven to affect our vehicles, and we know of no McLaren that has been compromised in such a way.
Nonetheless, the automaker has reached out to owners to make them aware of the potential flaw and is sending them a pouch to store the key fob in, which will block incoming signals.
Tesla was already made aware of the possible flaws and initiated a new "pin to drive" feature that lets owners set a pin, which must be entered to operate the vehicle. The researchers are suggesting that owners use the new feature and also turn off the Tesla's passive entry system. The automaker also recently updated its Model S key fob to match the new technology found in the Tesla Model X.