Leading American companies are prioritizing their employees’ financial wellness by teaming up with DailyPay to support employee savings and “America Saves Week.” The annual event that kicks off today is organized by the nonprofit America Saves, an initiative of the Consumer Federation of America. The event’s mission is to encourage and support Americans to save effectively, aimed at motivating individuals and families to take better control of their finances and achieve financial stability.
Vehicles are rapidly being upgraded with new and advanced tech as we are now entering an era of driverless vehicles and flying cars. New cars are also getting upgraded features and Tesla is a company that’s well known for offering advanced tech capabilities in its fully electric cars. However, the Tesla Model X, which starts at €88,990, was hacked into by researchers over at the COSIC, an imec research group at the University of Leuven in Belgium.
The security researchers used two weaknesses in Tesla Model X’s modern system to gain full access to the car and drive away. They used a self-made kit that costs around €168. Do note that the researchers notified Tesla of the weakness and the company is pushing a patch as part of the 2020.48 over-the-air (OTA) software update that fixes the exploits.
Hacking into a tesla in less than 2 minutes
The researchers over at COSIC previously hacked into the Tesla Model S keyless entry system. This time, they discovered some new flaws in the keyless entry system of the Tesla Model X. The car allows its users to automatically unlock when they are approaching the vehicle, or by pressing a button on the wireless key fob that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol. Additionally, a smartphone app by the company can also be used to unlock the car, and it also uses BLE to communicate with the car.
The BLE protocol gave researchers a way to break into Tesla Model X’s security. Using a modified Electronic Control Unit (ECU) from a salvaged Model X, they wirelessly forced key fobs to be discovered as BLE devices from a distance of up to 5 meters. Reverse
engineering the Tesla Model X key fob, they also found that the BLE interface allows installing remote software updates and this mechanism is said to have been lacking in security.
The researchers were able to wirelessly compromise a key fob and take full control over it. And they could also obtain valid unlock messages to unlock the car later on. “With the ability to unlock the car we could then connect to the diagnostic interface normally used by service technicians. Because of a vulnerability in the implementation of the pairing protocol, we can pair a modified key fob to the car, providing us with permanent access and the ability to drive off with the car”, says Lennert Wouters, PhD student at the COSIC research group.
“To summarise, we can steal a Tesla Model X vehicle by first approaching a victim key fob within about 5 meters to wake up the key fob. Afterwards we can send our own software to the key fob in order to gain full control over it. This process takes 1.5 minutes but can be easily performed over a range of more than 30 meters. After compromising the key fob, we can obtain valid commands that will allow unlocking the target vehicle,” says Dr Benedikt Gierlichs, a researcher at COSIC.
“After approaching the vehicle and unlocking it we can access the diagnostic connector inside the vehicle. By connecting to the diagnostic connector, we can pair a modified key fob to the car. The newly paired key fob allows us to then start the car and drive off. By exploiting these two weaknesses in the Tesla Model X keyless entry system we are thus able to steal the car in a few minutes”, says Dr Benedikt Gierlichs, a researcher at COSIC,” he adds.
Self-made hacking kit cost around €168
The researchers over at COSIC made their own kit to hack into the Tesla Model X. It consisted of a portable Raspberry Pi computer that was equipped with a CAN shield. They also obtained a modified key fob and ECU from a salvage vehicle from eBay and a LiPo battery powered the circuit. Overall, the kit cost them around €168.
The Belgian researchers informed Tesla about the identified vulnerabilities on the 17th of August 2020. Tesla confirmed the issues and awarded the team’s findings under its bug bounty programme and started working on security updates. As part of the 2020.48 OTA software update, which is now rolling out, a firmware update will be pushed to the key fob to patch the flaw.
As I was watching the investor show, Shark Tank, on TV the other night, I was struck by how quickly and how extensively the sharks focused on the background and character of the entrepreneurs, compared to time spent evaluating their products. I realized it was consistent with my own view as a former angel investor, that investors invest in you, more than your solution.
For example, if you as an entrepreneur come across as arrogant or too casual, many people you need to deal with in business, including investors, suppliers, and customers, will run the other way. The attributes you need to demonstrate in every meeting, and live on a daily basis, are ones illustrating your “strength of character.” These can be honed over time, and can’t be easily faked.
Based on my own years of experience in big business, startups, and the investor community, here are the key habits and traits that each of us needs to continually improve to be perceived by peers and others as leaders and innovators in business here and consistently around the world:
Be aggressive in aspirations but prudent in execution. I want to see entrepreneurs who have a focus on the future, but the strength and perseverance to build realistic and well-laid plans, for follow through daily. This means you set goals, milestones, and metrics, and are able to provide financial projections to support funding requirements.
Demonstrate social intelligence and concern. Today’s world of business is highly driven by social issues and environmental concerns. Entrepreneurs with a strength in social intelligence are better able to use these to their advantage, in selecting the right solutions, the right market segments, and implementing effective marketing strategies.
Listens well, and seeks out critical feedback from others. If you are an entrepreneur with this trait, I believe you will seek and positively respond to feedback from three critical groups: peers, customers, and experts. I find that self-focused entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are more likely to resort to denial when faced with negative feedback.
Always proclaim and deliver a positive attitude. The reality of my business experience is that people who are consistently more negative and pessimistic tend to make their views limit their results. If you demonstrate a positive attitude, I’m more easily convinced that you can make your business commitments, and your solution a success.
Conversant with a variety of perspectives and concepts. This trait, sometimes called mental complexity, will convince others that you likely understand the relevant issues, are willing to challenge your own ideas, and will be quicker to adapt them to encompass new information, experiences, and meaning. Change is the only constant in business today.
Takes ownership of personal strengths and weaknesses. Investors look for entrepreneurs with a high level of self-determination, who continually seek more competence in their chosen domain. We all have weaknesses, but we can all learn and improve our effectiveness. Denial and over-confidence are not good traits to exhibit.
Not afraid to share personal life experiences. Everyone has a story. You can make it inspirational and supportive, or you can hide behind a veil of anonymity. Other people in business judge your character by how major events and influences have shaped your personal development, and will likely impact your response to new situations.
Recognize natural leaders and seeks help from them. Great entrepreneurs have sought help from natural helpers since childhood, including parents, teachers, and business influencers. I believe this will make you feel more accepted, respected, and affirmed, and allow you to pass that feeling on to key players in your business career.
Shares views and learns from a personal mentor. Entrepreneur leaders recognize and seek three types of mentoring – career mentoring for the longer term, peer mentoring for tactical guidance, and life mentoring for quality of life balancing. Even successful entrepreneurs, included Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, learn from each other as mentors.
Visibly demonstrate the highest integrity. Integrity is generally defined as the act of behaving honorably, even when no one is watching. People with high integrity follow moral and ethical principles in all aspects of their business life, including decision making, and working with others. Investors ask about you, not your product, to test your integrity.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, or any other business professional, the strength of your character, as perceived by others, is of major importance to your growth and success. Don’t let the desire to find shortcuts, or egotistical tendencies, keep you from continuously improving and developing your character. Your return for showing good character in business is well worth it.