One hacker (aka “Security Expert”) named Jason Hughes cracked open the firmware on his own Tesla Model S and revealed to the world that Tesla is about to unveil a 100 kWh Model S they will call P100D.
Now, think about this: what is the target public for Teslas? Most are lawyers, doctors, engineers and geeks. While you can be a geek even if you are a lawyer or a doctor, if you’re a geek with hacking capabilities you will surely ask yourself what’s behind the big 17″ screen.
Hughes used a centuries-old technique to decypher the encryption: a dictionary. He only tweeted the SHA256 code and some other hackers had decrypted it themselves:
There have been references to the P100D in firmwares as early as 2 months ago. They finally added the badges to 2.13.77. I mucked it up a bit by adding a crappy background (it’s a PNG with transparency in the firmware)…
There are quite a few things that are in the firmware that I’m not prepared to share publicly. Just like the P100D has been in there for months with my lips mostly sealed. I don’t want to spoil all of Tesla’s surprises.
Now this is civic duty. Not unveiling Tesla’s surprises is downright the moral thing to do. Or he was just fearing legal action against him, I don’t know.
However, after he tweeted the news, Elon Musk himself replied:
Now either someone was in big trouble at Tesla after this, or Elon was genuinely glad someone made the news for them a month ahead. Or, they purposefully recruited the best hackers out there who, unaware of this, instinctively sniffed the bone hiding inside his car, in some flash memory. Anyway, I think Jalopnik’s David Tracy’s words are the perfect description for this:
Someone reveals a corporate secret and Musk responds with “Good hacking is a gift.” Total badass.
Yeah, who didn’t know Elon was badass? He’s the greatest badass geek in the world of cars. And rockets.