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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Volkswagen enters into cooperation with top Israeli experts to establish an automotive cyber security company

Agreement aims at developing cyber security solutions for future vehicles

CYMOTIVE Technologies based in Herzliya (Israel), and in Wolfsburg (Germany) set up for the purpose

Dr Volkmar Tanneberger: "It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure"

Volkswagen, three leading Israeli experts and their team are jointly establishing an automotive cyber security company. The newly founded CYMOTIVE Technologies led by Yuval Diskin, Tsafrir Kats and Dr Tamir Bechor will develop advanced cyber security solutions for next generation connected cars and mobile services.

The age of the connected car enables customers to use a variety of features inside modern vehicles. However, with increasing connectivity comes an increasing risk. Aspects such as intelligent and autonomous driving increase the number of interfaces in the vehicle and thus the risk of malicious attack.

Through this cooperation Volkswagen is further developing its core capabilities in the field of cyber security and is combining its forces with the expertise of the cyber security specialists from Israel.

At the signing of the agreement, Dr Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development for the Volkswagen brand, said: "The car and the Internet are becoming increasingly integrated. 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."

Yuval Diskin, former head of the Israeli Security Services is excited about the new opportunity to secure the connected car business and mobile online services from cyber threats. "The new cooperation will take an innovative and strategic approach to cyber security. Together with Volkswagen we are building a top-notch team of cyber security experts. We are aware of the significant technological challenges that will face us in the next years in dealing with the cyber security threats facing the connected car and the development of the autonomous car." Mr Diskin will be serving as the chairman of CYMOTIVE Technologies.