2014 Tesla Model S
The term "hacker" conjures up images of shady individuals stealing your personal details through loop-holes in your internet security, but in the modern world a professional hacker can actually provide a valuable skill.
Tesla Motors, for example, recently attended the Def Con security conference in Las Vegas in order to hire hackers to develop security systems for its current and future vehicles.
It makes sense, really--who better to design systems to keep out unscrupulous individuals than someone with the same skill set?
According to Transport Evolved, Tesla sent its own security expert Kristin Paget along to try and recruit the best possible talent for Tesla. Paget herself is experienced in the field, having worked for Apple before her move to Tesla, and before that, Microsoft.
Paget told The Wall Street Journal that the electric car company intends to hire as many as 20 to 30 hackers from Def Con alone.
Beyond that, individuals exposing loopholes, security bugs or flaws in Tesla's electronic workings will receive a platinum-colored 'challenge coin' in recognition of their contribution to Tesla's security. They can even get a tour of Tesla's Fremont assembly plant.
The news comes shortly after some high-profile Tesla hacking stories--suggesting Tesla is keen to step up its security in light of recent events.
Back in April, a Tesla owner managed to hack into the system of their Model S. Tesla caught the individual in the act, via the car's wireless system--and sent an email advising that any further actions would void the car's warranty.
Then, in July, a prize of $10,000 was put up for grabs at a Chinese hacking conference to anyone who could crack Tesla's code and operate major functions of the car.
While each sounds dramatic, companies like Tesla can use such incidents as learning experiences--and hiring another 20 or 30 hackers from one of the world's premier security conferences probably won't hurt either...