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Tesla giving away Model 3 as reward in ‘bug bounty’ program

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Tesla Model 3Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Tesla will give security researchers who expose flaws in the Model 3 a free vehicle.
  • Like many tech companies, the automaker offers cash rewards for vulnerabilities found in its software. 
  • Tesla was the only automaker to participate in a cybersecurity conference in Vancouver, which added an automotive category for the first time this year. 

Tesla is upping its “bug bounty” in a big way by offering a free Model 3 to any cybersecurity researcher who can hack the car’s computer system.

The increased reward was announced at a competition sponsored by Trend Micro, called Pwn2Own. Tesla is the only automaker that participated in the event, which focuses on finding flaws in internet browsers and enterprise software programs. It’s the first time an automotive category has been featured.

“We develop our cars with the highest standards of safety in every respect, and our work with the security research community is invaluable to us,” David Lau, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle software, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: Elon Musk may be trying to cut a deal with China that could give it a huge advantage, according to a Tesla analyst

Tesla’s bug bounty program was launched in 2014, and generally has rewards ranging from $25 to $1,0000. More recently, prizes have ballooned as high as $15,000, depending on what’s found.

According to the blog Teslarati, the bug bounty program has already been responsible for a number of fixes, including a vulnerability found by Chinese software company Keen that could have allowed an outsider to remotely activate a vehicle’s brakes.

Keen’s security lab has made Tesla’s “security researcher hall of fame” in 2016 and 2017, according to the company’s website.

“Since launching our bug bounty program in 2014 – the first to include a connected consumer vehicle – we have continuously increased our investments into partnerships with security researchers to ensure that all Tesla owners constantly benefit from the brightest minds in the community,” continued Tesla’s Lau, per the blog Electrek

“We look forward to learning about, and rewarding, great work in Pwn2Own so that we can continue to improve our products and our approach to designing inherently secure systems.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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