Gone in 2 Seconds: Hacking Tesla

Plus, Molar Mic two-way communication, and the next generation of health trackers.

2 Seconds

Smarter and more connected vehicles bring increased concerns around new ways bad actors will find to break into those high-tech systems. Even Tesla, which has gone to great lengths to protect its cars against cyberattacks, is not immune: Researchers at Belgium’s KU Leuven University figured out how to clone a Tesla’s key fob, enabling them to easily steal a car without damaging a single physical element. With equipment costing about $600, the academic hackers created a system that could wirelessly read the signals from a nearby fob in just two seconds. When the researchers told Tesla of their find, the car manufacturer paid them a $10,000 “bug bounty.”
Source: Wired

Can You Hear Me Now?

Two-way communication is about to get a whole lot more wearable. Thanks to a multimillion dollar contract with the Department of Defense, the “Molar Mic” is coming to the mouths of the U.S. Air Force. Created by Sonitus Technologies, the custom-fit mouthpiece fits onto the wearer’s upper molars and sends audio directly to the inner ear via a bone conduction speaker. The device includes a waterproof microphone and wireless charging, and will make communication among military personnel easier in scenarios like parachuting, open-water swimming and more. After the Molar Mic rolls out to the Air Force, other military branches may adopt the device as well, and Sonitus sees potential for its use by first responders.
Source: cnet.com 

Next-Gen Health Tracking

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are making many people more aware of their daily health and habits, but a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed something that could do the same thing without the bother of a device. The tech works sort of like a Wi-Fi router in the home, sending radio signals out that bounce off walls and bodies, and then return to the box, where they’re analyzed through a neural network working to learn more about our habits. By wirelessly tracking health in this way, doctors could potentially better treat patients with more tailored care. Currently the device is being tested in more than 200 homes of both healthy subjects and those with chronic conditions.
Source: MIT Technology Review

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.