Hacker from China have found a way to cheat a Tesla S model to get into the wrong lane by strategically putting some simple stickers on the road.
Keen Lab, widely regarded as one of the world's most technically savvy cyber research teams, has developed two types of attacks to bypass Tesla's auto pilot stripe recognition technology.
First, the researchers sought to make changes to stripe labels, initially adding a large number of "patches" to the line to appear blurry. It worked, but because the patches were very prominent, Keen hackers decided that it would be very difficult to be in the real world.
Thus, the researchers tried to create a "fake strip". They discovered that the Tesla autopilot would detect a line where there were only three opaque tiny squares strategically placed on the road. When they put small stickers at a crossroads, hackers thought Tesla might think the patches indicated the continuation of the right lane. At a test track, their theory proved correct as the autopilot moved the car into the actual left lane.
"Experiments have shown that this architecture has security risks and reverse lane recognition is one of the essential functions for autonomous driving on non-closed roads," Keen Lab wrote in a post. "In the 'tent' we are building, if the vehicle knows that the fake lane is pointing in the opposite lane, it should ignore this fake lane and then it could avoid a car accident."
In other attacks, Keen Lab claimed to be able to remotely control the steering wheel and launch the wipers. Hacking the wipers would be difficult to place in a real scenario after they developed a specially designed image that made Tesla believe it rains. But the false lane will be easy to recreate using inexpensive materials, Keen Lab said.
This is not the first time that Keen Lab has exposed potential security problems for Tesla's digital systems. 2016, the hacker have discovered a way to gain remote control of Tesla's brakes.
In March, at CanSecWest's Canadian Security Conference in Canada, a total of over $ 900.000 awards was offered to anyone who would be able to hurt a Tesla. Only one group showed a successful exploitation: an embedded browser hack that enabled researchers Richard Zhu and Amat Cama to display their own messages in the entertainment system. They won $ 35.000 and the car.