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Tesla hacker claims the automaker is trying to downgrade his car software after releasing new information, Musk replies “Good hacking is a gift”

Model S hack

Yesterday we reported on notorious Model S hacker Jason Hughes revealing through a cryptic tweet to Elon Musk that Tesla is working on a new Model S P100D, something the company had yet to announce.

[tweet align=’center’]

Hughes has since revealed that Tesla is trying to remotely push a downgrade update to his Model S, which he calls a “retaliation” for revealing the “P100D” information.

Hughes wrote about the aftermath of yesterday’s revelation:

“Looks like I’ve definitely pissed off someone at Tesla now. They used some method I was unaware of in another process to go in and delete the pending 2.13.77 update from my car.

Basically they sent the car some command that told it to restart the updater, then the updater restarted and queried the firmware server, which, to its surprise, no longer had an update for me.

Fortunately for Hughes, he was smart enough to back up the latest update and now he plans to manually update his car if Tesla doesn’t resolve the issue.

He took to Twitter to see what was going on and Tesla CEO Elon Musk answered:

[tweet align=’center’]

It’s not clear if Musk is saying that Hughes’ hacking is “good”, but he certainly didn’t deny Hughes’ claim that a ‘P100D’ is coming. The Model S tinkerer alluded that he could release more information about upcoming Tesla products or software updates if the company doesn’t start sending updates to his own car again, but he said he would let the company time to adjust since Musk replied via Twitter.

Musk has been opened to the idea of working with hackers. He offered hacker George “geohot” Hotz a “multimillion-dollar bonus” to work on the Autopilot system. Hotz is famous for being the first person to successfully hack the iPhone and Playstation.

In the past, Hughes has revealed some data from his hacking of the Model S that have raised questions. His tear down of a salvaged 85 kWh Tesla battery pack showed that it could actually only be a 81 kWh pack.

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Featured Image: Jason Hughes: Tesla Model S Hacking – Running the MCU and IC on the Bench


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  1. James Rowland - 7 years ago

    Tesla have an ongoing bug bounty for their products, and Jason has been rewarded several times for submitting vulnerabilities. Every Model S is safer because of his enquiries; Tesla should be working hard to keep guys like this on side.

    Clearly some bad decisions were made by someone at Tesla, but it’s good to hear Elon wasn’t involved.


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