Volkswagen Breached by Chinese Hackers

Written by Mitchell Langley

April 23, 2024

Volkswagen Breached by Chinese Hackers

Volkswagen Group has experienced a huge security breach, with reports indicating that over 19,000 intellectual property documents were stolen by attackers. German media suggests that China may be responsible for this cyberattack.

Volkswagen Breach Lasted for 5 Years Before Being Detected

According to ZDF, the attack on Volkswagen lasted for a duration of five years. Internal documents reviewed by journalists reveal that malicious actors successfully infiltrated the company’s systems between 2010 and 2015, repeatedly extracting valuable intellectual property during this period.

The attackers specifically targeted Volkswagen’s development of gasoline engines, transmission technology, and dual-clutch transmission research. They also dedicated a significant amount of effort to infiltrating the company’s electric vehicle research.

19,000 Documents Stolen in the Volkswagen Breach

Based on the German report, it was confirmed that at least 19,000 documents were stolen from Volkswagen. However, the company’s security team managed to recover some of the files that were exfiltrated. This suggests that the full scope of the attack may be even more extensive than initially reported.

According to experts consulted by journalists, the investigation into the hack indicates that the attackers’ IP addresses, software used, and operating time zone all point to the origin of the cyberattack being China.

Volkswagen Group is a global automotive powerhouse, generating over $322 billion in revenue last year and employing more than 667,000 individuals. The group encompasses various renowned brands such as Audi, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Skoda, Bentley, and others.

It is worth noting that while the company experienced an IT incident that led to production halts in September of last year, it was determined that a cyberattack was not the cause.

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