Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company, Tesla, has become the latest company to fall victim to hackers looking to mine cryptocurrency, according to a new report.
The Palo Alto-based company was uncovered as a victim of so-called ‘cryptojacking’ in a report published by cybersecurity company RedLock, which suggested an infiltration of Tesla systems to power the mining process.
The research team identified an infiltration in Tesla’s Kubernetes console, which was not secured by a password, as well as finding traces of hackers within Tesla’s AWS environment—a potentially significant breach of Tesla systems.
This would have allowed the hackers to access some sensitive information, with access to an Amazon S3 bucket holding significant telemetric data, according to the report. Researchers also identified a level of sophistication in the attack, which has not yet been seen in attacks of this kind.
The IP address of the mining pool was obscured by the Cloudflare CDN, a factor which the team noted would make it impossible for companies looking to detect similar attacks through IP data. It was also apparent that the hackers had attempted to keep resource usage low to avoid triggering suspicion, in yet another marker of the level of planning that appears to have gone into the attack.
Fortunately for Tesla, the team at RedLock was quick to refer the matter to them, flagging the issue immediately with the technical team there. According to the report, Tesla was able to quickly rectify the issue, preventing the hackers from accessing further resources from their system.
The development, which may come as an embarrassment for Tesla given its reputation for pioneering innovative new technologies, serves as a reminder to all businesses and large organisations over the critical importance of cybersecurity.
The report of the attack on Tesla comes amidst a flurry of this type of incident in recent months. Other victims include Showtime and Politifact.com, where hackers used the same technique to inject browser-based mining scripts under the radar.