Thieves can steal Tesla cars from miles away in devastating blow to Elon Musk

Tesla cars could be at risk from a major security exploit, according to cybersecurity researchers.

A hack makes it possible for thieves to unlock Tesla Model 3 and Y cars, start the engine and drive off in it without having to physically break in, according to security consultant Sultan Qasim Khan of NCC Group.

Tesla vehicles use a keyless entry system based on Bluetooth. Khan claims to have demonstrated that it is possible to fool the car entry system into thinking the owner is near the vehicle.

This unlocks the doors and makes it possible to start the engine up, making it hypothetically easy for a thief to walk away in a pricy Tesla without even a scratch in the paintwork.

Khan said that the hack works on a number of cars which use a keyless entry system, and reportedly demonstrated the technique to Bloomberg News.

Luckily, there's no evidence to suggest that thieves have yet used the hack to access Tesla cars. Khan claims he warned Elon Musk's electric car company about the flaw, but that company officials didn't deemed it a significant risk.

Tesla, which doesn't have a media office, has not responded to requests for comment and could not confirm his claims.

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The hack follows another revelation by 19-year-old security researcher David Colombo who showed it was possible to hijack some features on Tesla vehicles such as opening doors or controlling the volume of the car's stereo system.

Colombo said on Twitter he gained "remote control" of more than 25 Tesla vehicles in 10 countries after owners left their cars open to hacking.

"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…", he wrote.

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