Apparently, Tesla Motors is abiding by the wise words of Chinese military general Sun Tzu to keep its friends close and its enemies closer. The tech-heavy electric vehicle maker attended the recent Def Con conference in Las Vegas, The Wall Street Journal reports, in order to learn about computer-security advances and to attract hackers. Come and get it.
But Tesla's there for good reason. The California-based automaker is looking to hire at least 30 hackers from the conference (which is chock full of hacking competitions), according to the Journal. Kristin Paget, Tesla's self-described "hacker princess," notes that with the automotive industry increasingly relying on networked communications for features ranging from on-board entertainment to parallel-parking controls, automakers are very vulnerable to whims of expert hackers.
Tesla has a built-in way to play defense since it already regularly sends out wireless software updates for its Model S sedan. In February, Tesla hired Paget away from Apple Computer to improve its virtual shields. Paget previously worked at Microsoft, specifically with its Vista operating system, before joining Apple in 2012. She once gained notoriety for writing a manual on how to build a fake cell tower that was capable of intercepting mobile-phone calls, so she's got a good eye for these things.