Nerds, script kiddies, geeks, chair engineers, keyboard jockeys, streamers, and pretty much anyone who’s a cool kid are totally, absolutely, completely IRL fooling Tesla owners by wirelessly opening the door to their charging ports with little Open handheld radios. Groomed.
Similar to the Honda vulnerability we recently demonstrated, this trick works by capturing and transmitting RF signals that unsuspecting Teslas can understand. These Teslas open their charging port in anticipation of receiving a healthy dose of power, but leave owners confused. How does that taste, n00bs?
The signal captured by these pranksters is actually generated by Tesla charging stations as a convenient way to charge. A compatible charger will automatically send the signal when the vehicle’s owner approaches the tail light with the business end of the charging cable. When the Tesla receives the command, it automatically opens the door covering its charging port.
Similarly, the vehicle opens the charge port by tapping a button on the infotainment screen, via the app, by physically pressing the port, or by issuing the “open asshole“Voice command – however only the charger transmits the signal wirelessly.
The device these people use is a Pinball zero. While it’s not a Software Defined Radio (SDR) like that HackRF One, this little $170 device features a sub-gigahertz radio, meaning it’s capable of receiving and sending messages on the same frequencies as key fobs and other short-range devices. These small devices can play back the transmission at higher power, allowing the opening to be opened from several meters away and without the vehicle’s line of sight.
owners of these devices shared the capture files over the internetmeaning anyone can download them and start trolling – hence the influx of videos on Tiktok and other social media platforms. The ride Was able to test this troll with permission from a Tesla owner and confirmed it is still functional at the time of writing.
Now Tesla is programming the charging door to close if it’s not used after about two minutes. The time it takes to do this can range from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on a number of different circumstances, such as: B. move away from a vehicle, disconnect from the charger or otherwise. Tesla vehicles also don’t currently support vehicle-to-home or vehicle-to-vehicle charging, so it’s not like you can ditch power from the unsuspecting drive or pour sugar into the non-existent gas tank, so that feels more like it more like a harmless prank than a problem. That being said, I’d still be upset if someone tinkered with my car without my permission, so maybe don’t try the one at home.
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