22 April 2024

Chinese hackers reportedly breach Volkswagen Group, steal proprietary technology


Chinese hackers reportedly breach Volkswagen Group, steal proprietary technology

A Chinese state-backed hacking group has successfully penetrated the Volkswagen Group, stealing sensitive documents related to the company's proprietary technology, German broadcaster ZDF reported.

Volkswagen Group, one of the world's largest automakers, reported a revenue exceeding $322 billion last year, with a workforce of over 667,000 employees. The group encompasses renowned brands such as Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda, Bentley, and others.

The breach, which occurred between 2010 and 2014, targeted various aspects of Volkswagen's innovation, including gas engines, transmission systems, and electric and hydrogen car technologies.

According to the report, approximately 19,000 documents were stolen from Volkswagen, although the company's security team managed to recover some of the exfiltrated files. The attack was conducted in several waves, with the hackers analyzing Volkswagen's IT infrastructure starting in 2010, eventually breaching the system by 2011. Data leaks occurred intermittently between 2011 and 2014, as evidenced by internal documents.

The sophistication of the attack, coupled with the attackers' IP addresses, software usage, and operational time zone, points to China as the likely origin of the hackers.

The Chinese embassy in Berlin has denied accusations, stating that China has “always clearly condemned and combated any form of cyber espionage.”


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