These Hackers Can Unlock 100 Million Volkswagens Without Any Keys


Looks like Volkswagen may have messed up big, again.

In 2013, researchers from the University of Birmingham were preparing to reveal that they could start the ignition of millions of Volkswagen vehicles and drive them away, all without needing the keys. A lawsuit delayed the publication of this research for two years, but Wired reports that the team is now ready to reveal its findings. The research paper shows that VW has left its ignition system vulnerable as well as the keyless entry system. It is estimated that this flaw affects almost every Volkswagen car that was built since 1995. That's around 100 million vehicles.


The researchers have worked with German engineering firm Kasper & Oswald to show two hacking attacks that would affect over 100 million cars. The hacks don't just include only Volkswagen brand cars, but other makes like Skoda and Audi. A second hack will affect more manufacturers, including Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, and Peugeot. Both attacks can be completed using easily available radio hardware than can be purchased for around $40. These components can intercept the radio frequency of a car key and copy it after just one attempt. The researchers recommend that car manufacturers pay more attention to vehicle security, and we certainly agree.

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