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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Hacker Keynote at CeBIT Prompts Controversy

Model S Tesla Motors Inc NASDAQ:TSLA

Security pros have criticized Lookout’s Kevin Mahaffey for trying to take all the credit for the Tesla Motors Inc hacking research he did with Marc Rogers. At last weeks CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany, Lookout’s co-founder and CTO, in a keynote explained the process of hacking and fixing Tesla’s Model S. This left some security professionals outraged because from Mahaffey’s keynote, it seems he took all the credit, and entirely forgot the other half of his research team.

Model S Tesla Motors Inc NASDAQ:TSLA

Was Mahaffey claiming all credit for research?

Security flaws are a major problem in the automotive industry, and the researchers who explore these, and look for solutions do a great service for the world. Automobiles these days are becoming a lot more connected and technical than they used to be, but unfortunately, they don’t have the protections that the buyers expect from their desktops or laptops, and in some cases from their phones even.

Tesla is a company that is engaged in the production of highly sought-after and technical cars, and therefore, it is a priority for the firm to ensure that they are secure. Both Mahaffey and Rogers looked at the security posture of Tesla, and their research took several years, but eventually they came up with a way to control the Tesla Model S.

Last year, the duo made a joint presentation of their work during DEFCON in Las Vegas. And, last week, Mahaffey gave a keynote at CeBIT with the title – “Why I Hacked the Tesla Model S,” and explained the work he did with Rogers. However, the issue was with the usage of the word ‘I’ in the title and the constant references to ‘we.’

With the usage of ‘I,’ security professionals see this as Mahaffey claiming full credit for a joint-research project. As far as usage of ‘we’ is concerned, many claim that ‘we’ has been used in front of monitors and signage branded with the Lookout logo, so it can be linked to Mahaffey and Lookout, and not Mahaffey and Rogers.

Meanwhile, Mahaffey had offered an apology, saying he never intended this to happen.

Tesla increases plant capacity hit production targets

Tesla Motors Inc is now just days away from revealing the Model 3 to the public for the first time. The vehicle would have an anticipated range of 200-mile and a base price of $35,000 before incentives. Tesla plans of producing 500,000 electric cars per year by 2020, and Model 3 is a key part of those plans.

However, in order to do that Tesla will need more than a high-volume model. Also, it will need an upgraded factory that is capable of churning out larger number of electric cars. The firm is working upon upgrading its Fremont, California factory, and in the process, is adding new equipment and increasing the number of workers – both human and robot.

Tesla recently showed the upgraded factory to few Wall Street analysts and they liked all that they saw, reported a recent Bloomberg report. Analyst James Albertine wrote that the factory had made commendable progress in comparison to the last year’s visit. Tesla has installed new equipment’s to increase the capacity, and it included a higher-capacity aluminum stamping press.

The Credit Suisse analyst claims the output of this press is 10 to 20 times that of its predecessor. Both Model S and Model X have aluminum bodies, but Tesla has not yet disclosed the composition of the Model 3. The EV firm has built a new paint shop as well, reportedly, and has also increased the speed of its assembly lines to add capacity.

In the starting days, Tesla’s factory was a joint General Motors/Toyota factory, and the two firms jointly produced 500,000 cars per year during peak operation. Later on, it reopened under Tesla Motors Inc , and since then it has been producing much smaller number of vehicles.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.