Someone found a way to turn a Tesla into what?

Answer: A surveillance tool.

by / August 13, 2019
Shutterstock/Stokkete

James Bond would be proud.

Security researcher Truman Kain debuted a mod at the Defcon 27 hacker conference over the weekend that can give a Tesla Model S surveillance capabilities. Using open source image recognition software and the car’s onboard cameras, he programmed the vehicle to identify, track and store the faces and license plates that come near it.

Kain’s mod, called Surveillance Detection Scout, can alert the driver if it has seen the same license plate multiple times while driving and can do the same thing with faces if the car is parked. The idea is that the car let the owner know if someone is following them, in case that person has nefarious intentions.

Drivers of Tesla’s Model S, X or 3 can install the mod if they can create their own Web server or know how to use the off-the-shelf hardware and available code. And Kain undertook efforts to ensure that the tool can’t connect and share data with versions in other vehicles, so it can’t be used to create any sort of informal surveillance network.

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