As the world transitions to electric vehicles, there’s no shortage of fear of the unknown for buyers. Range anxiety is the least of those concerns these days. People are worried about self-driving tech, in-car cameras, and remote vehicle hacking. All of those can be valid concerns but the latest story of a 19-year old taking limited control of Teslas around the world isn’t as scary as it sounds.
David Colombo, a self-proclaimed information technology specialist, according to Autonews, says he has limited remote control of at least 25 Teslas in at least 13 different countries. Since he doesn’t own any of them, that is, objectively, not great. He says that he can do quite a lot with these controls too. For starters, he can be annoying. That’s not too shocking considering that he’s a teenager but it’s how he’s annoying that counts.
Apparently, he can turn the music to full volume in these cars whenever he wants. He can also roll the windows down or even Rick-Roll them by playing Rick Astley on YouTube in these vehicles. If the list ended there we might not have even heard about this story.
Read Also: Hackers Break Into Security Cameras Used By Tesla Supplier In China
So, I now have full remote control of over 20 Tesla’s in 10 countries and there seems to be no way to find the owners and report it to them…
— David Colombo (@david_colombo_) January 10, 2022
The teen has more control though. He can also pop the doors on vehicles equipped with that tech. That means a Tesla driver could be blitzing down the highway only for their falcon-wing door to open up randomly. It doesn’t stop there though.
Colombo says that he can flash lights, disable Sentry Mode, and even determine if the driver is in the vehicle. Those are serious concerns for anyone with a Tesla. Thankfully, all of this fear and worry can be solved by anyone with a Tesla quite simply.
How to block David and his like
Go into the vehicle’s infotainment system and disable “Mobile Access” under the “Security” menu. It turns out that the hack has little to do with any sort of bug or issue with Tesla or its software. No, David places the blame squarely on the shoulders of owners specifically stating “Since these important facts seem to drown between other comments, I‘ll add them here again This is not a vulnerability in Tesla‘s infrastructure. It‘s the owners faults.”
Since these important facts seem to drown between other comments, I‘ll add them here again 👇
This is not a vulnerability in Tesla‘s infrastructure. It‘s the owners faults. That‘s why I would need to report this to the owners as stated above.
— David Colombo (@david_colombo_) January 11, 2022
While he hasn’t disclosed exactly how he controls these vehicles it seems clear that he’s ultimately gained access to specific users’ credentials. So if you’re worried about this “hack” just be aware that it sounds like it’s people’s personal accounts that seem to be vulnerable, not Tesla vehicles themselves, per se.
Or at least that’s what Colombo claims, as Tesla has yet to comment on the issue.