The day is starting out a little odd for Tesla investors. A teenager calling himself a 19-year-old security specialist and hacker in his Twitter profile claims to have hacked a number of Tesla vehicles. It isn’t the first alleged hack of Tesla cars, but it might be the first solo teen to claim to have succeeded.
“So, I now have full remote control of over 20 Tesla’s in 10 countries and there seems to be no way to find the owners and report it to them,” wrote David Colombo in a tweet on Jan. 10, later adding, “I could take around two dozen Tesla‘s in 13 countries for a drive right now.”
A drive comment appears to be hyberbole. Colombo, it seems, can unlock doors, turn off security cameras and, perhaps, even turn the car on, but someone still has to be there to do the driving.
He has continued to tweet and interact with Twitter users since Monday about the alleged hack. Colombo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about how and why he attempted to hack Tesla (ticker: TSLA) vehicles in a direct message on the social media platform.
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Colombo’s tweets either.
Issues of data security, of course, are serious, but Tesla investors haven’t reacted to news of the potential hack. Tesla stock was up about 0.1% in premarket trading Wednesday. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures have gained about 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.
The number of vehicles is small and the claims are difficult to verify. What’s more, most new cars have internet connectivity embedded in them. All new Ford Motor (F) vehicles, for instance, have modems in them. Hacking is a risk for the entire industry.
This also isn’t the first claim of Tesla hacking. Reports of hacking Tesla vehicles go all the way back to, at least, 2015. Tesla even invited hackers to try to expose security flaws as far back as 2014.
Coming into Wednesday trading, Tesla stock has gained almost 4% for the week, rebounding after growth stocks sold off on fears that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates faster than expected.
Write to Al Root at email@example.com