100 Million Volkswagen Cars Share a Dangerous Locking System

Millions of Volkswagen cars have a faulty unlocking system. This security weakness can be used to hack open automobiles. For the past 20 years, Volkswagen has built cars implementing the unsecure component. This is serious security threats, as accessing the compromised automobiles is apparently possible with the help of very cheap tech that every car thief can afford.

The Volkswagen key problem up-close

The remote keys of a Volkswagen can be cloned using tech that costs around $40. The trick can be used to steal cars. It works like this: the criminal must be located within 90 meters or 300 feet around the car. Then they can intercept the key’s signal and clone it. Then, the signal will be used to unlock the car. The exploit was found by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The car brands that are vulnerable are Audi, Seat, Skoda, and of course, Volkswagen, all of them owned by the Volkswagen company. Some estimates of the threatened automobiles range up to 100 million.

The Full Scale of the Exploit Is Still Unknown

The research didn’t reveal too much of information about the security threat to prevent this information from getting into the wrongs hands. Sadly, that may not be enough. Car thieves are sure to get more tech-savvy as more and more auto-brands include digital elements into their products. The low price of the necessary hardware only makes things worse.

The Hacking of Cars

Automobiles are getting more cybernetic. That can lead to a lot of positive things like automatic parking, blocking control for drunk drivers, or preventing incidents. But it’s also it’s likely that the car thieves of the new age will be hackers. With the introduction of self-driving cars, it’s theoretically possible to hack a car while the driver is still in it and carry out a carjacking. It sounds like a nightmare, but it’s not impossible. One thing’s for sure; Volkswagen will have to improve their security. The fact that an unsecure locking system was in circulation for 20 years seems massively neglectful of the company. The huge amount of cars that share the unsecure remote key system which means that we’ll likely hear of an increase in car theft in the future. Volkswagen was also involved in another key hacking scandal back in 2015. The car conglomerate sued the researcher that reported the exploit and prevented the information from going public for two years instead of fixing the issue.

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Author : Joseph Steinberg

Joseph Steinberg is the editor-in-chief, lead content creator, and local father figure of Best Security Search. He enjoys hiking and rock climbing and hates the 12345678 and qwerty passwords.

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