Experts reported on the possibility of gaining access to the closed options of the central computer of Tesla electric cars

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Summarize this content to 100 words IS experts and engineers from the Technical University of Berlin (Technische Universitat Berlin), as well as an independent researcher, reported the possibility of gaining access to closed options of the central computer of Tesla electric cars based on AMD solutions.For this, they need physical access to the hardware part of the electric car in order to implement hacking, which is based on the technology of hardware glitching (voltage glitching or an attack due to a voltage failure) to manipulate the voltage on the AMD Secure Processor (SP) module included in the on-board computer. the computerResearchers have promised to reveal the details of the Tesla on-board computer jailbreak at the Black Hat USA 2023 computer security conference.In several successful glitch attacks, researchers were able to manipulate the voltage on AMD chips to cause an error in the ROM loader of the AMD SP module, as well as to gain full control of the on-board system, obtain sensitive information from a closed part of the system, and execute third-party arbitrary code. The problem is that it takes at least four hours per attempt to carry out such an attack, which can fail if all the necessary factors do not line up properly. But after several attempts, without elaborating, the researchers were able to bypass Tesla’s security system.The researchers revealed. that were able to obtain the encryption key used to authenticate electric cars on the Tesla network. According to them, they managed to copy the user’s personal data from the memory of the on-board system, including contacts, recent appointments in the calendar, locations where the car was, Wi-Fi passwords and other information, including communication session tokens with various Tesla services . Also, the researchers were able to activate the heating of the rear seats and the driver assistance system (FSD autopilot) in those regions where it is not officially presented by Tesla.According to specialized experts, this vulnerability is hardware, but its implementation is difficult due to the need to perform many hours of manipulations with the system. According to them, Tesla will not change the vulnerable on-board computers in electric cars, but will try to close this problem with the help of additional layers of protection within its part of the software. From the middle of 2021, Tesla began to install AMD Ryzen chips with its own integrated graphics in the infotainment system of Model S and X electric cars, paired with a discrete graphics processor RDNA 2. In this solution, the car control system is on the same board as the entertainment system of the electric car, and as a central and the graphics processor use AMD solutions, which were previously discovered by researchers from the Technical University of Berlin to be vulnerable to glitch attacks by manipulating the voltage in the chips. In May 2022, Tesla recalled about 130,000 Model 3, 2022 Model Y, 2021-2022 Model X, and 2021-2022 Model S electric cars for reflashing due to problems with AMD Ryzen chips overheating during fast charging of the electric car or preparing for it. In this case, the AMD Ryzen chip began to heat up very much, which led to brakes or freezing of the on-board entertainment computer, system reboot due to overheating, the disappearance of the image from the rear-view camera on the central screen, the inability to select a gear, the disappearance of wiper operation mode settings and signal lamps.

Experts reported on the possibility of gaining access to the closed options of the central computer of Tesla electric cars

IS experts and engineers from the Technical University of Berlin (Technische Universitat Berlin), as well as an independent researcher, reported the possibility of gaining access to closed options of the central computer of Tesla electric cars based on AMD solutions.

For this, they need physical access to the hardware part of the electric car in order to implement hacking, which is based on the technology of hardware glitching (voltage glitching or an attack due to a voltage failure) to manipulate the voltage on the AMD Secure Processor (SP) module included in the on-board computer. the computer

Researchers have promised to reveal the details of the Tesla on-board computer jailbreak at the Black Hat USA 2023 computer security conference.

In several successful glitch attacks, researchers were able to manipulate the voltage on AMD chips to cause an error in the ROM loader of the AMD SP module, as well as to gain full control of the on-board system, obtain sensitive information from a closed part of the system, and execute third-party arbitrary code. The problem is that it takes at least four hours per attempt to carry out such an attack, which can fail if all the necessary factors do not line up properly. But after several attempts, without elaborating, the researchers were able to bypass Tesla’s security system.

The researchers revealed. that were able to obtain the encryption key used to authenticate electric cars on the Tesla network. According to them, they managed to copy the user’s personal data from the memory of the on-board system, including contacts, recent appointments in the calendar, locations where the car was, Wi-Fi passwords and other information, including communication session tokens with various Tesla services . Also, the researchers were able to activate the heating of the rear seats and the driver assistance system (FSD autopilot) in those regions where it is not officially presented by Tesla.

According to specialized experts, this vulnerability is hardware, but its implementation is difficult due to the need to perform many hours of manipulations with the system. According to them, Tesla will not change the vulnerable on-board computers in electric cars, but will try to close this problem with the help of additional layers of protection within its part of the software.


From the middle of 2021, Tesla began to install AMD Ryzen chips with its own integrated graphics in the infotainment system of Model S and X electric cars, paired with a discrete graphics processor RDNA 2. In this solution, the car control system is on the same board as the entertainment system of the electric car, and as a central and the graphics processor use AMD solutions, which were previously discovered by researchers from the Technical University of Berlin to be vulnerable to glitch attacks by manipulating the voltage in the chips.


In May 2022, Tesla recalled about 130,000 Model 3, 2022 Model Y, 2021-2022 Model X, and 2021-2022 Model S electric cars for reflashing due to problems with AMD Ryzen chips overheating during fast charging of the electric car or preparing for it. In this case, the AMD Ryzen chip began to heat up very much, which led to brakes or freezing of the on-board entertainment computer, system reboot due to overheating, the disappearance of the image from the rear-view camera on the central screen, the inability to select a gear, the disappearance of wiper operation mode settings and signal lamps.

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