VOLKSWAGEN RESPONDS: The VW Group responds to reports regarding a major security flaw affecting its vehicles. Image: QuickPic
Cape Town - Earlier in August 2016, Wheels24 reported that German and British researchers have discovered a security flaw in remote locking systems fitted to around 100-million cars worldwide.
The bug affects vehicles with a remote lock activated by a key.
The Volkswagen Group is one of the hardest hit, with popular models including the Golf 4 and 6, but also vehicles from subsidiaries like Audi, Seat and Skoda, on the list of vulnerable cars.
The Volkswagen group issued the following statement: "The bar for theft prevention is constantly being raised, but ultimately there is no 100% guarantee for security. On one hand, criminals are equipped with sophisticated tools, and on the other hand, theft protection is impacted by the fact that we have to provide access to the OBD interface (On-Board Diagnosis) as well as the processes and documents in connection to these systems.
"With highly specialised technical knowledge, individual electronic components of the vehicles can be manipulated though this open interface.
"Volkswagen's electronic and mechanical security measures are state-of-the-art technology. Volkswagen also offers innovative technologies in this field that are continuously developed further."
READ: Car security bug revealed - 100-million vehicles affected!
The company continues: "Researchers from the universities of Bochum and Birmingham set themselves the task of analysing security technologies such as the immobiliser and remote control to identify systematic weaknesses, regardless of practical applicability.
"Their academic work that has now been published showed that the security systems of the vehicles that were up to 15 years old do not have the same security level as, for example, our present vehicles based on the MQB Modular Transverse Matrix (e.g. the current Golf, Tiguan, Touran, Passat, etc.). These current vehicle generations are not affected by the problem described.
"The responsible department at Volkswagen Group is in contact with the academics mentioned and a constructive exchange is taking place. We agreed that the authors would publish their mathematical-scientific findings, but without the sensitive content that could be used by accomplished criminals to break into vehicles. The findings obtained will serve to further improve the security technology."
Read the full report here.
The Bochum/Birmingham findings state that the following vehicles manufactured between 1995 and 2016 in the VW Group are affected.
Audi: A1, Q3, R8, S3, TT, various other types of Audi cars (e.g. remote control part number 4D0 837 231).SNEAKY DEVICE: Radio devices similar to this one was used by the researchers to intercept codes from vehicles’ key fobs. Image: Wired
VW: Amarok, (New) Beetle, Caddy, Golf 4, Golf 5, Golf 6, Jetta, Passat, Polo.