Tesla launched a competition for programmers to identify flaws in new software.
In the modern world, the confrontation between software developers and hackers continues. The attackers who discovered the vulnerability can cause enormous harm to the company, up to the complete removal of equipment. Therefore, organizations hold various contests of programmers to identify the weaknesses of the software.
Such measures are taken not only by ordinary developers, but also by giants of the IT industry. For example, Tesla, the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles in the United States, invited experts from around the world to explore their own program code in order to detect possible problems. The lucky ones will get a great reward.
The winner of the Tesla programmers contest will receive a car
The specialists of the company founded by Elon Mask are now working on new "smart hatchback" software. It is equipped with many options, including autopilot, driver informing service, passenger entertainment system, etc. The basis of the software is artificial intelligence, which will inform car enthusiasts of any problems and take control of the vehicle. However, this technology may cause an increased interest of hackers. This is especially dangerous for the autonomous driving system.
Therefore, professionals offer users to find flaws for a good prize.
As part of the programmers' competition, Tesla will offer specialists to discover “gaps” in the protection of the information system, entertainment service, autopilot, Bluetooth, Wi-fi. A person who can perform one of these tasks will receive a Model 3 electric car in the maximum configuration. The market value of such a machine is 50,000 US dollars.
The automaker’s office said that hackers could try their hand at the Pwn2Own event, which will be held in March 2019 in Vancouver. This is a special competition held during the annual CanSecWest cybersecurity conference. Regular participants are organizations such as Microsoft and Oracle. Programmers from all over the world come to Pwn2Own to compete for monetary rewards and other prizes for identifying flaws in various products.
2019 will go down in the history of the event, as the first in which the car manufacturer will take part. Tesla is the only auto company that has applied to Pwn2Own. The event was commented on by David Low, vice president of software development organization. He stressed that software protection remains an important focus in Tesla’s work, and the bar set by professionals is very high. Therefore, cooperation with “white hackers” will give employees invaluable experience and will allow to identify all the “gaps” in the developments.
Indeed, the auto giant is not the first time using third-party assistance in software testing. The company has its own program to encourage professionals who identify shortcomings. It was established in 2014, and the first amounts of remuneration were in the range of 25-1000 dollars. However, over the years, Tesla pays more and more attention to this aspect, and accordingly increases the cost of each detected problem. For example, a hacker who was able to find a critical vulnerability will obtain up to 15,000 US dollars.
This approach works, and the automaker's professionals have already been convinced of this more than once. For example, in September 2016, a Keen programmer from China received an award for finding a “gap” in the braking system. This defect allowed attackers to remotely activate the brakes of cars, which could lead to disastrous consequences.