Tesla P100D: Hacker’s Car Downgraded For Ruining Surprise?

Tesla P100D: Hacker’s Car Downgraded For Ruining Surprise?
Tesla Model X from YouTube

It was a hack that may have led to a very exciting find. Jason Hughes may not have seen it coming, but hacking into Tesla’s firmware revealed a reference to a more powerful battery. More importantly, it revealed one name: P100D. And because he just spoiled a big surprise, he believes the electric car company may have tried to downgrade his own Tesla.


The whole situation started when Hughes, who happens to call himself a “white hat hacker,” discovered something else in Tesla’s firmware 7.1. While he was excited to find it and let everyone else know about it, he wanted others to work harder first. So he decided to go to the Tesla Motors Club forum and post a cryptic message.

Since there is absolutely no fun in spilling the secret outright, Hughes decided to post the “best bit” of what he found instead using a SHA256 encryption key. According to the Daily Mail, the key is actually a Secure Hash Algorithm, a one-way data encryption that would generate numbers and letters to act as a secure digital indentifier every time someone is trying to transfer data.

For his big Tesla reveal, Hughes posted the key in the forum and later on, in Twitter. He even called out Tesla and Tesla’s founder Elon Musk, saying, “I know your secret.” He also tweeted out the SHA256 key to his 855 followers. Later on, members of the forum said that they had managed to decrypt the name P100D. P100D seems to represent Tesla’s plans to create a battery pack that is much bigger and juicier than any of the current ones.

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Later on, Hughes said he is under the impression that Tesla was trying to remotely downgrade his car in response. He tweeted, “So, #Tesla is trying to retaliate by remotely commanding my car to downgrade to 2.12.45. I cut them off. @elonmusk @TeslaMotors A word?”

In response, Musk said he absolutely had nothing to do with it. He tweeted back, “Wasn’t done at my request. Good hacking is a gift.” It seems Musk doesn’t mind Hughes spoiling the surprise after all.

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