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Hack a Tesla, win $10000

At this week’s Syscan-360 Security Conference in Beijing (China), a prize fund of $10 000 has been announced for hacking into the CAN network of a Model S from Tesla.

Accessing the CAN-based network of the Tesla Model S is the objective of this year’s hacking award at the Syscan-360 conference (Photo: Tesla)

THE RULES FOR THE SYSCAN-360 HACKING COMPETITION are not publically available. However, it is surprising that this year’s hacking competition deals with accessing an in-vehicle network. Normally, such prize funds for individuals aim at hacking operating systems, programs, or smart devices. The conference (July 16 and 17) is usually attended by industry professionals as well as hackers. Of course, Tesla is not taking part in this competition.

One of the official conference presentations by Wayne Yan is titled “Hack your car and I’ll drive you crazy”. He reports on car hacking via the diagnostic interface and how to build a hack-proof security system for CAN. He shows how to reverse-engineer CAN communication by means of a car-hacking attack database. But he also explains how to defend against such type of attacks. The presentation includes details on different ECU “languages” (message’s syntax and semantics). The author is the CEO of Visualthread, a mobile security vendor.

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