Volkswagen will partner in a new cybersecurity company called Cymotive Technologies that will aim to make future vehicles more secure.

As vehicles become more connected to online services and open to over-the-air updates, automakers' concern increases that there's a greater potential for hacking into them. Volkswagen Group wants these cutting edge systems to be better protected, and the automaker is partnering with former high-ranking officials from Israel’s intelligence community for a new company called Cymotive Technologies. According to Automotive News, VW Group owns 40 percent of the firm, and three security experts control the remaining 60 percent.

Yuval Diskin was formerly the head of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency. He partnered with colleagues Tsafrir Kats and Dr. Tamir Bechor for this new cyber security company. According to Automotive News, Diskin has been a private consultant since leaving the Shin Bet in 2011.

“To enable us to tackle the enormous challenges of the next decade, we need to expand our know-how in cyber security in order to systematically advance vehicle cyber security for our customers. Cymotive Technologies provides an excellent platform for doing this. It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure,” Dr Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development for the Volkswagen brand, said during the partnership’s announcement.

"It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure."

Volkswagen Group learned firsthand about the dangers of vehicle hacking earlier this year when researchers at the University of Birmingham discovered a major security flaw with the key fobs in 100 million vehicles dating back to 1995. The scientists built a $40 device that could capture the key that the fob broadcasted. They also somehow gained access to four codes that were the same for many models and didn't change. Combining the two pieces of data let them unlock the doors of a target vehicle within 300 feet. The researchers also discovered that a similar tactic would have worked on products from Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi, and Nissan.

Source: Volkswagen Group, Automotive News

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