autoevolution

Hackers Steal Info From More Than 3 Million Volkswagen, Audi Customers

The Volkswagen group of brands has a love-hate relationship with software. On the one hand, the Dieselgate scandal left the Wolfsburg-based company in a state of crisis along with the rest of the automotive industry. And secondly, VW still has issues writing bulletproof code.
Volkswagen ID.3 116 photos
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Take, for instance, the eighth-generation Golf that had one too many bugs at launch. The ID.3 hatchback was affected by massive problems as well, which is why the first units rolled off the production line in Zwickau with incomplete software. Volkswagen is now facing yet another software-related problem, and on this occasion, the repercussions may be very, very serious.

CNN reports the German automaker and its four-ringed subsidiary from Ingolstadt have been hit by a data breach to the tune of more than 3 million customers. The hack has exposed sensitive information such as the phone number, email address, driver's license, and social security number.

The breach stems from an outside vendor that Volkswagen, Audi, and some of their dealerships use. Gathered between 2014 and 2019, the data collected for marketing purposes “had been left in an unsecured file” according to CNN. The Volkswagen Group of America has reached out to approximately 90,000 customers to offer free credit protection, and somewhat typical of the German colossus, the hacked vendor’s name hasn’t been made public.

Truth be told, this unfortunate turn of events isn’t an isolated case for the industry. There are tons of reports of hackers getting into the infotainment systems of modern vehicles to access the address book, track the owner through GPS, or even steer the vehicle remotely. Much to the detriment of the aftermarket, cybersecurity woes explain the hellish encryption of the ECUs found in the mid-engine Corvette and T1xx-based Chevrolet Tahoe.

What’s more, your old car is a four-wheeled trove of data that can get into the wrong hands. Two years ago, The Washington Post bought a second-hand Chevrolet Volt infotainment system off eBay that contained enough data to reconstruct the New York travels and relationships of a total stranger.

 
 
 
 
 

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