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Vehicle security bug: SA Automakers respond

2016-08-19 09:31

STANCE ON THE FLAW: Ford, like a few other automakers in SA, responded to news of a security flaw in cars' security systems. Image:Quickpic

Cape Town - Earlier in August 2016 Wheels24 reported on certain automakers’ cars that are susceptible to security flaws.

These flaws allow hackers to gain access to vehicles through discrepancies in the vehicles’ electronic systems.

German and British researchers have discovered a security flaw in remote locking systems fitted to around 100-million cars worldwide, German media reported.

Security breach

The bug affects vehicles with a remote lock activated by a key, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) daily and public broadcasters NDR and WDR reported.

Volkswagen, one of the hardest hit, acknowledged that "Security systems of vehicles up to 15-years-old don't demonstrate the same level of security as our more current vehicles." 

READ: Car security bug revealed: 100-million vehicles affected!

Hackers are able to get around the security system by using passwords from old keys, the SZ reports because the system did not allow for a sufficiently large number of different passwords.

Other brands affected include: 

Volkswagen was the first of the affected brands in South Africa to respond. Now a number of the other manufacturers had their say.

READ: Global car security risk - VW responds

Nissan SA: We requested feedback from our colleagues at FQA - Quality Assurance. At this point they are not aware of any Nissan vehicles being affected. They have, however, escalated the matter to our parent company in Japan. We will let you know if there are further developments in this regard.

Fiat SA: Due to the August holiday period in Europe, we still don’t have a response at this stage.

Peugeot/Citroen SA: We had a response from our local aftersales team. They have received absolutely no information about our brand being affected by what is mentioned in the article. Our marketing team has also sent an email to Paris (France) asking for information; as they are also unaware of it.

Renault SA: Safety is synonymous with the Renault brands and Renault pays particular attention to the security of its customers and improves its vehicles throughout their life cycle. Our recently designed vehicles do not use the HiTag2 system. Renault International have no further comment.

Ford SA: "We're in the clear!"
Official statement: "We are previously aware of this security gap and have incorporated this knowledge in the enhancements of existing and future systems. We no longer use the described system in any of our new cars."

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