German automobile club ADAC has released a report showing they were able to easily break into cars from 19 different manufacturers using a set of devices they built for a few hundred dollars.
The devices allowed the ADAC technicians to perform a relay attack on proximity key enabled vehicles by repeating the signal from the key fob.
This type of attack was previously described by researcher Boris Danev and his colleagues but was done in a lab environment with devices costing thousands of dollars. The ADAC test should serve as a significant warning to manufacturers, since it was completed using re-purposed consumer electronics that are inexpensive and portable.
Volkswagen has spent over two years trying to block the publication of a research paper which reveals a key hacking vulnerability in many of their models as well as thousands from other manufacturers. According to Bloomberg, a team of researchers discovered the vulnerability in 2012 and notified Volkswagen in May 2013. Instead of working with the researchers to resolve the issue, Volkswagen argued that the paper would increase the risk of theft and sued them to stop the publication.
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