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Hackers take control of Tesla Model S at low speed

Cybersecurity researchers said they took control of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S car and turned it off at low speed, one of six significant flaws they found that could allow hackers to take control of the vehicle. 

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A row of Tesla Model S sedans are seen outside the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

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Cybersecurity researchers said they took control of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S car and turned it off at low speed, one of six significant flaws they found that could allow hackers to take control of the vehicles, the Financial Times reported.

Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Lookout, and Marc Rogers, principal security researcher at Cloudflare, said they decided to hack a Tesla car because the company has a reputation for understanding software than most automakers, the FT said. (http://on.ft.com/1DsTIQJ)

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"We shut the car down when it was driving initially at a low speed of five miles per hour," the newspaper quoted Rogers as saying. "All the screens go black, the music turns off and the handbrake comes on, lurching it to a stop."

The hack will be detailed at cybersecurity conference Def Con in Las Vegas on Friday, the FT said.

Tesla is issuing a patch, which all drivers will have by Thursday, to fix the flaws, the FT said.

Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

The hack on Tesla follows a similar attack on Fiat Chrysler's Jeep Cherokee last month that prompted the company to recall 1.4 million vehicles in the United States. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)