According to new research, the key systems of many VWs are vulnerable to remote-cloning attack.
Attention all Volkswagen owners! Your car is at risk of being attacked with a wireless hack. All VW cars bought from the early 2000s until 2016 can be hacked into. The cars with the keyless entry systems of many Volkswagen fall under this category.
According to a team of car researchers, more than 100 million vehicles by VW can be subjected to a key-cloning attack. The key cloning attack can hand over the hacker with control over the ignition and the entry to the car.
The experiment was carried out by researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK along with a German embedded-security consultancy called Kasper & Oswald. The team will be giving their presentation in the coming week at the Usenix security conference which will take place in Austin, Texas.
This new development is the latest setback for VW in a long line of bad fortune. The German car company had just settled on a $15 Billion penalty with the US federal government. And now they have to seriously think about customer safety and retention.
The researchers claim the cyber-attack can be carried out by simply using battery-run commercially-available radios, which can be bought cheap. The radios are capable of recording the rolling codes which are used by the keyless entry systems.
The recording can then be used by the radio to open a VW car. The tools the researchers used to hack into said VW cars only cost them $40, according to ZDNet.
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The attack makes use of the weakness in the VW key distribution method. The radio can be used to clone the keyless codes of a VW car from even 100m away. So there isn’t much the owners of these cars can do as a precaution.