One of the world's leading technology-focused car brands, Tesla Motors, has been a victim of a hacking incident.
The US electric car brand - which launched in Australia in 2014 - has launched an investigation into the hacking event, which reportedly saw someone posing as a Tesla employee gain access to the brand's phone accounts and forward calls to an unrelated number.
A statement from the company claimed that following the phone line being rerouted, the "impostor then contacted the domain registrar company that hosts teslamotors.com, Network Solutions", before adding a "bogus email address to the Tesla domain admin account". Then the hacker(s) commenced rerouting website traffic to a bogus website and then gaining access to both the Tesla Twitter account and the social media account of the company's founder, Elon Musk.
"Some customers may have noticed temporary changes to www.teslamotors.com on their browsers or experienced difficulty when using our mobile app to access Model S. Both were due to teslamotors.com being re-routed," the statement read.
"Our corporate network, cars and customer database remained secure throughout the incident. We have restored everything back to normal. We are working with AT&T, Network Solutions, and federal authorities to further investigate and take all necessary actions to make sure this never happens again," the statement concluded.
UK site The Register claims that Twitter users "@chf060 and @rootworx – or someone using these online identities" ran riot on the site and Twitter accounts "before normality was restored". All online evidence of the hack - such as tweets or screen shots - appears to have been removed from the web by Tesla Motors.
However, Transport Evolved is running a screen shot of what is claimed to be the Tesla Motors website at the time of the hack, with the page stating that Tesla Motors had been "hacked by LizardSquad!", and that the site had been "raped by Devin Bharath and Blair Strater". Check out the image here.
Tesla knows the power of hacking - indeed, the US brand offered a $10,000 prize to students in China to see if it was possible to break in through the back end of its Model S sedan. Nobody successfully managed the feat, though.