Tesla Asks Chinese Hackers to Flag Vulnerabilities

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), whose Model S sedan is the target of a hacking contest in Beijing starting today, said it will investigate and rectify any vulnerabilities discovered as a result of the competition.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. has found ways to remotely control the Tesla car’s locks, horn, headlights and skylight while the car is in motion, the Beijing-based Internet security company said in a posting on its Sina Weibo account. Wu Jing, a director of investor relations for the company, said its information technology department conducted the experiment, without elaborating.

“While Tesla is not associated with the conference and is not a sponsor of the competition, we support the idea of providing an environment in which responsible security researchers can help identify potential vulnerabilities,” Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said in an e-mail. “We hope that the security researchers will act responsibly and in good faith.”

Tesla’s billionaire Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said last month that the automaker’s patents will be “open source” and available at no charge as it seeks to expand adoption of electric cars. The company began China deliveries of its flagship sedan in April and Musk has said its sales volume in the country may match that of the U.S. as early as 2015.

Tesla will investigate and take immediate action to rectify any “legitimate vulnerability” identified, it said in the statement. The carmaker asked security researchers to report potential vulnerabilities in accordance with its policy and not to hack its website, servers and networks.

The SyScan +360 conference is offering $10,000 to anyone who successfully hacks into the Model S, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ma Jie in Tokyo at jma124@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net Chua Kong Ho

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