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You can win a Tesla Model 3 and close to one million US dollars (more than Rs 7 crore) if you are able to hack the electric car's software. That's right! Pwn2Own security conference has partnered with Tesla to give researchers an opportunity to drive home a Model 3, if they can find out the car's technological flaws.
The annual Pwn2Own hackathon event will be held at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver in Canada from March 20 – 22, 2019. Usually, the participants are given laptops, corporate software or websites to exploit, but this is the first time a car is being offered.
Cybersecurity firm, Trend Micro is the team behind the ZDI (Zero Day Initiative) Pwn2Own contest. The Tesla Model 3 in question will be the first vehicle available to win, in the contest's new 'Automotive Category'.
The Tesla Model 3 was launched back in July 2017, at a starting price of 35,000 US dollars (roughly Rs 25 lakh). It comes standard with a battery pack that offers a range of up to 355km on a single charge. In the base format, a 0-100km/h sprint takes only 5.6 seconds while the top speed is limited to an impressive 210km/h.
Everyone who manages to hack the car's software will win a range of cash prizes, but only the first person to do so will win the car. The contest is also aimed to indirectly market the Tesla Models 3 as an unhackable electric car.
"Since 2007, Pwn2Own has become an industry-leading contest that encourages new areas of vulnerability research on today's most critical platforms," shared Brian Gorenc, Senior Director of Vulnerability Research, at Trend Micro.
"Over the years we have added new targets and categories to direct research efforts toward areas of growing concern for businesses and consumers. This year, we've partnered with some of the biggest names in technology to further this commitment and continue driving relevant vulnerability research, " he further added.
In a bid to make the Model 3 as flawless as possible, Tesla is offering 100 – 15,000 US dollars (roughly Rs 7000 to Rs 10.6 lakh) to anyone who can point out a new or unreported bug. In addition to the prize money, the names of the winners will be put on the Tesla Security Researcher Hall of Fame section in the company's website.
"Tesla values the work done by security researchers in improving the security of our products and service offerings," the website states. "We are committed to working with this community to verify, reproduce, and respond to legitimate reported vulnerabilities."
Till date, only around 30 researchers could get their names on the list.
Thoughts On The Tesla Model 3 Hacking Contest
The contest will concentrate on six different focal points for the participants to test their skills. Tesla claims that their cars showcase the highest safety standards in almost all aspects and their work with the security research community is invaluable. Hence, if someone manages to win the Tesla Model 3 hacking contest, it will further help the brand to close any unnoticed loopholes in the car.