Tesla Downplays Cloud System Hack

Tesla Inc (Nasdaq: TSLA) is the latest victim of a cyberattack after hackers accessed its cloud computing system and used it to mine cryptocurrency. Tesla says no customer data was exposed during the breach, but the incident does little to ease drivers’ fears about hackers gaining access to increasingly computerized vehicles.

Cybersecurity firm RedLock reports that hackers gained access to Tesla’s Kubernetes administration console, which was not protected by a password. Through the console, hackers broke into Tesla’s Amazon Web Services account and used its computing power to mine cryptocurrency. RedLock reports the hackers then used several advanced techniques to hide their presence.

RedLock says that it quickly notified Tesla of the issue, and Tesla downplayed the breach’s impact. “We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it,” the company says. “The impact seems to be limited to internally used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way.”

RedLock says leading cloud services providers Amazon.com (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGGOOGL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) are doing everything they can to keep clients safe, but the clients themselves must also be diligent about protecting security vulnerabilities on their end.

There have been a number of high-profile corporate hacks in recent years, but the prospect of a hacked auto company is particularly troubling for drivers. While there hasn’t yet been a documented case of a hacker causing a car crash on the road, Tesla was forced to update its Model X vehicles last year after Chinese security researchers were able to access vehicle controls remotely. The researchers were able to turn on the Model X’s brakes, open and close its doors, and blink its headlights in time with music streamed from its audio system.

In 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is well aware of the dangers of security vulnerabilities. “I think…

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