In recent times, Volkswagen has lost a lot of it’s goodwill as an automobile manufacturer, thanks to the emissions scandal that saw the company trying to cover up evidence against their wrongdoings.
Incidentally, around the same time, there was another scandal waiting to happen for the company, which involved the company again trying to cover up evidence against their wrongdoings.
This new wrongdoing comes in the form of a security flaw, that lets hackers use a cheap RFID Device to unlock as well as start any VW car, as long as they’re standing next to it.
This flaw was initially discovered by computer scientist Flavio Garcia and his team of researchers from the University of Birmingham all the way back in 2013.
However, due to a lawsuit from VW lawyers, this information never saw the light of day, until now. Now that it’s officially out in the open, it was also found that the flaw actually extended further than just VW.
The reality of the situation was that the hack could affect cars not just from VW, but also Audi, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Mitsubishi, and Nissan, which combined together come upto over 100 million cars.
Under these circumstances, any hacker could drive away with any car, with the help of a simple Arduino based WiFi transceiver combined with a software defined radio to clone the car’s FOB.
The entire setup cost just about $40 dollars, and can be used without alerting the customer to it’s presence at all. As you can guess, this is a major flaw that puts a lot of lives at risk.
The only question that remains now is that, how exactly will these 100 million consumers be protected from this flaw, and whether VW will take any responsibility for it.