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Volkswagen Cyberattack Linked to Chinese Hackers

Executive Summary

Volkswagen cyberattack was supposedly executed by Chinese hackers. The hackers have been exporting Volkswagen intellectual property over a period from 2010 to 2015.

Journalists reviewed internal documents which revealed that for 5 years, malicious actors were breaching Volkswagen’s systems.

The primary focus of these attacks was on the company’s intellectual property. Those are: EV technologies, development in gasoline engines, transmission development, and research into dual-clutch transmissions.

Purpose and Impact of the Attack

Volkswagen Group, as one of the largest global automakers, reported over $322 billion in revenue last year and employs more than 667,000 people. The group’s portfolio includes brands such as Audi, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Skoda, and Bentley.

The nature of the stolen data stolen in the Volkswagen cyberattack indicates that the hackers were not simply opportunistic. Rather, they had a specific focus on acquiring high-value technological information.

Thorough research into the details of the exfiltrated files shows that the main target were Volkswagen’s proprietary electric vehicle (EV) technologies and production tactics. That poses a significant threat to Volkswagen’s competitive advantage in the burgeoning EV market and heightens concerns regarding potential misuse of the information.

Cybersecurity experts have preliminarily traced the Volkswagen cyberattack’s digital footprints to groups believed to be operating from China. Presently, there is no definitive evidence that links the attack directly to the Chinese government. However, the breach’s complexity and sophistication imply it is the work of highly resourced and capable entities.

Closing Comments

This incident highlights the vulnerabilities that major corporations face in an era of industrial espionage. It can lead to substantial economic and strategic impacts. The automotive industry, increasingly dependent on digital technologies and interconnected systems, is particularly at risk. In response, companies in this sector are now reevaluating their cybersecurity measures to ward off similar threats.



Cubic Lighthouse is a cybersecurity publication dedicated to demystifying security, making news actionable, providing deeper thinking about the fundamentals of security, and providing decision-makers and the community at large with the right information to make the right decisions. We will also feature more technical articles and provide personal/family security advice.

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