Volkswagen is founding a new cybersecurity firm to prevent car hacking

Security experts have been warning that connected cars are vulnerable

As cars become more computerized, they're also facing a greater risk of being hacked. That’s why Volkswagen is founding a new cyber security company devoted to protecting next-generation vehicles.

On Wednesday, the automaker said it would partner with a former Israeli intelligence agency director to jointly establish a new company, called Cymotive Technologies.

It’s unclear how much Volkswagen is investing in the new firm, but security experts have been warning that internet-connected cars and self-driving vehicles could one day be a major target for hackers.

Even older cars from Volkswagen are vulnerable. Last month, researchers said that millions of vehicles from the automaker can be broken into by exploiting the remote control key systems.

In a paper, the researchers showed that by reverse-engineering the car's firmware, and then eavesdropping on signals sent from a car owner's key fob to the vehicle, they could remotely open and lock the doors.

Volkswagen would need to roll out a costly firmware update to fix the problem, the researchers added. At the time, Volkswagen simply said it was continually improving its cars security.

Other security experts have been warning that newer cars, with network connectivity, also contain security holes. Last year, two researchers demonstrated they could remotely hack a 2015 Jeep Cherokee and kill the engine or cut the brakes.

Fiat Chrysler later issued a safety recall and sent out USB drives loaded with the software fix to affected cars.

On Wednesday, Volkswagen called its own attempt to bolster its cyber security a "long-term investment." Three Israeli security experts, including Yuval Diskin, a former chief with the country's internal security service Shin Bet, will lead the new company.

Diskin will serve as the company’s chairman. “Together with Volkswagen we are building a top-notch team of cyber security experts,” he said in a statement.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags businessautomotive ITAutomotiveVolkswagen

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?