Maximizing Tesla Security: Understanding Vulnerabilities, Best Practices, and PIN to Drive

Maximizing Tesla Security: Understanding Vulnerabilities, Best Practices, and PIN to Drive
Researcher Demonstrates That Teslas (And Potentially Others) Are Vulnerable To A Bluetooth Hack That Allows Cars To Be Unlocked And Driven - The Autopian

Understanding Tesla Security Features

Tesla is known for its advanced technology and security features, but even the most sophisticated systems can sometimes be breached. In this conversation, we see a Model 3 owner who had their car stolen despite having locked it with both phones and cards inside. This raises questions about how exactly thieves were able to steal the car.

There are only three ways to start and drive a Tesla - through a paired key card, a paired BT phone/fob, or by starting the vehicle from the app and putting it into drive within two minutes. If none of these methods were used, then how did the thieves manage to steal the car?

One possibility is that the iPad under the seat was paired as a BT key. If so, all someone would have to do is turn it on without needing to unlock it. Another possibility is that the thief boosted the BT signal in order to access and drive the car. However, if they put it in park and got out of range, it wouldn't drive again.


Potential Vulnerabilities in Tesla Security

Another potential vulnerability in Tesla security is Bluetooth connectivity. If you're close enough for BT to connect, even if walk away lock had worked, the signal might've been strong enough to let the thief just open the door and start driving. The device doesn't have to be in the vehicle for this method to work.

If pro thieves were involved, they might've found a way to boost your BT signal in order to access and drive the car. They could also use other tactics such as opening the door before it locked when you walked away. Thieves can be sly and cunning, but they can also be stupid and make mistakes.

To prevent thefts like this from happening, Tesla owners should consider using PIN to drive on all their Teslas. It may not be foolproof, but it's another very strong security layer. For those who think using the PIN is too much hassle, it adds only about three seconds to the start-up sequence.

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Best Practices for Keeping Your Tesla Secure

Aside from using PIN to drive, there are several best practices that Tesla owners can follow to keep their vehicles secure. First and foremost, never leave your phone or any other device that's paired as a key inside your car. Even if you're just running into a store for a few minutes, take your phone with you.

It's also important to be aware of your surroundings when parking your Tesla. Try to park in well-lit areas with plenty of foot traffic. Don't leave valuables visible inside your car, as this can attract unwanted attention.

Finally, always lock your car manually after walking away from it. While walk-away lock is convenient, it's not foolproof and can sometimes fail to engage properly. By taking an extra second or two to double-check that your car is locked, you can help ensure that it stays safe and secure.

In conclusion, while Tesla has some of the most advanced security features on the market today, no system is perfect. By understanding potential vulnerabilities and following best practices for keeping your Tesla secure, you can minimize your risk of theft and enjoy peace of mind every time you get behind the wheel.