Volkswagen Hid a Flaw That Made Cars Vulnerable to Thieves For Two Years

The news is full of stories about hackers finding ways to gain access to our increasingly connected cars. The problem isn't limited to one brand or one type of vehicle, but spans the industry and is a growing concern for everyone who owns a car. Vulnerabilities are usually fixed quickly, but Volkswagen hid one flaw for two years. This particular flaw doesn't give anyone control over the car. Instead, it makes cars easier to steal. It all stems from a problem with key fobs that allows keyless vehicle entry and engine starts. Thieves can use those fobs to access the cars and drive away. The problem was uncovered by three researchers, but VW sued them to keep it quiet. RELATED: See Photos of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport Concept According to Computerworld, the problem is in the RFID Megamos Crypto transponder. It's supposed to keep your car from being started when the fob is not in close proximity to the car. Upon discovering that those fobs could be hacked, they shared their findings with the manufacturer of the chip and with VW. This is when VW went to court to prevent that information from being made public over the fear that it would cause their cars to be stolen. VW may have stopped the news from being made public, but the problem also affects cars from Honda, Fiat, Volvo, and even Maserati. The paper from the Usenix Security Symposium is now public, which means thieves can see it. It also means the public can see it, too. Hopefully a fix is forthcoming. RELATED: See Photos of a Classic 1958 Volkswagen Beetle RELATED: See Photos of the 2011 ABT Volkswagen Scirocco