Tesla to be key sponsor in first-ever Pwn2Own Automotive event

Key Points

  • 🚗 Tesla is a key sponsor for the inaugural Pwn2Own Automotive event focused on automotive security.
  • 💰 Participants can compete for cash prizes totaling $1 million and even win Tesla vehicles.
  • 🗓️ The event will take place on January 24-26, 2024, in Tokyo, co-hosted by Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) and VicOne.
  • 🔒 Pwn2Own aims to encourage security research in the automotive ecosystem and raise awareness about vehicle vulnerabilities.
  • 🚙 Four categories include Tesla’s electric vehicles, In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI), EV chargers, and vehicle operating systems.
  • 💡 Tesla’s previous collaborations with Trend Micro and Pwn2Own have been successful in addressing EV complexities.
  • 🎉 The partnership signifies Tesla’s commitment to enhancing automotive cybersecurity.

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global cybersecurity leader, recently announced that Tesla will be a key sponsor for its first-ever Pwn2Own Automotive event. Participants would be competing for cash prizes totaling $1 million, as well as Tesla vehicles. 

Pwn2Own Automotive is a hacking competition focused on automotive security. The goal of the event is to encourage more security research into the automotive ecosystem, incentivize vendors to participate in the community, and raise awareness of the multiple, complex sub-components of modern vehicles.

The event will be held January 24-26, 2024, at the Automotive World conference in Tokyo. Tesla will be the title sponsor of the event, and ChargePoint will be a partner. Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) and VicOne, a subsidiary of Trend Micro specializing in automotive security, will co-host the event.

Brian Gorenc, VP of threat research at Trend Micro, shared his excitement about the upcoming event. 

“Pwn2Own is a key pillar in Trend’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), which has been helping us discover new vulnerabilities in consumer, industrial, and emerging technology for years. We’re delighted to welcome Tesla as title sponsor as we redouble our efforts to expand our influence in the field of automotive cybersecurity,” Gorenc said. 

This is not the first time that Tesla has worked with Trend Micro and Pwn2Own. As noted in a press release, Tesla’s extensive knowledge of the complexities of electric vehicles has made past initiatives successful. ZDI has also contributed a lot to online security, with the initiative being responsible for the discovery and publication of 1,706 new vulnerabilities last year. 

Pwn2Own Automotive would feature four categories. The first is specifically focused on Tesla’s electric vehicles, where contestants can win cash prizes of up to $200,000 and their own car. Contestants can register an entry against an AMD Ryzen-based Model 3/Model Y or Model S/Model X equivalent benchtop unit. 

The second category is focused on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI), which is becoming popular among hackers. The third category deals with EV chargers, which is seeing some attacks as well. The final category of the event is focused on vehicle operating systems, and it will require contestants to find and exploit vulnerabilities in Automotive Grade Linux, Blackberry QNX, and Android Automotive OS. 

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