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Hackers 'cryptojack' Tesla system to mine cryptocurrency

by Justin King

Tesla claims the incident only impacted \"internally-used engineering test cars\" and did not expose any customer data.

Tesla's computer systems have apparently fallen victim to 'cryptojacking,' attacked by hackers looking to exploit vulnerable systems to mine cryptocurrency.

Researchers at security firm RedLock reportedly discovered that some of Tesla's cloud systems could be accessed without passwords, allowing hackers to repurpose the company's Amazon cloud services to run cryptocurrency algorithms.

"We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it," the automaker said in a statement to Gizmodo. "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 CTO Gaurav Kumar issued a separate statement noting that the profitability of cryptocurrencies is making it "far more lucrative" for criminals to redirect organizations' computing resources rather than steal their data.

"In particular, organizations' public cloud environments are ideal targets due to the lack of effective cloud threat defense programs," Kumar added. "In the past few months alone, we have uncovered a number of cryptojacking incidents including the one affecting Tesla."