New Volkswagen Hack

It should almost come as no surprise to hear that there’s a new Volkswagen hack. Over the past few years, researchers found weaknesses in many modern vehicles. Even many older cars have problems modern tech can take advantage of. But this hack is very serious, because you don’t need to be next to the car to do it.

 

So what is this new Volkswagen hack?

Last year, researchers at Computest found a way to break into VW Group cars connected to the internet through Wi-Fi. The cars leave a port exposed in the firmware, and because of this, hackers can get in to infotainment system.

This flaw gave the researchers access to the microphone, speakers, and navigation system in the car. While this might seem harmless, this means they could eavesdrop on your conversations or track your car as you drive. The researchers could even control the screen and the speakers, which could cause serious hazards.

On top of this, we do not know the full extent of this new Volkswagen hack. Through these exploits, it may be possible to take control of other aspects of the car like safety features or braking, but we simply do not know. The researchers stopped after this point to be sure they did not break the law.

 

Have they done anything to fix this new Volkswagen hack?

Thankfully, Volkswagen met with the researchers and developed a fix. New Volkswagen and Audi cars produced after April of 2018 should not have this issue. But many existing cars still need firmware updates, and it is unclear if VW Group will recall their cars.

The researchers only shared their full method with the VW Group to minimize the risks to consumers. But even still, criminals can reverse engineer methods, so it would be wise to contact manufacturers for an update.

Albuquerque New Volkswagen Hack Golf Image
Although the researchers only tested the Volkswagen Golf GTE and the Audi A3 e-tron, this issue may affect many of VW Group’s other vehicles.

Remember, this mainly effects cars that connect to the internet. If you drive a vehicle that does not connect to the internet, the issue is less pressing. But VW Group vehicles that connect to the internet for their services need a patch soon.

 

What about other cars that connect to the internet?

The researchers only tested a couple models of cars, but they warn that similar issues may affect many connected cars. Often, manufacturers rush to develop features without considering security, so this idea is very likely.

Because of this, it may be wise to look into turning off some of these online features. Not all cars will allow this, and not all owners will want to limit their car in this way. But for many, the advantages of security and safety may be worth the reduction in features.

Whatever you decide about these issues, Astria is ready to help or answer questions. We are happy to assist you with this new Volkswagen hack by sharing knowledge and increasing awareness— contact us with any questions and learn more about our cyber security services!