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Automobiles continue to be a security nightmare and knowing that, Volkswagen is creating a new cybersecurity company, in partnership with Israeli security experts, to work on security tools and solutions for connected cars and autonomous vehicles.

The company, called CYMOTIVE Technologies, will end up based in Herzliya, Israel and Wolfsburg, Germany. Yuval Diskin, Tsafrir Kats, and Tamir Bechor will head up the new company, officials said.

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Volkswagen said the increased risk comes with adding new connectivity features and novel technologies to vehicles. It also said the attack surface of a connected automobile is further expanded by features such as autonomous driving capabilities.

Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electrical and electronic development for Volkswagen, called the cooperative effort “a long-term investment in cybersecurity to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure.”

Cyber Security

One of the core partners in the endeavor is Yuval Diskin, the former head of the Israeli Security Services. Diskin, who will work as chairman of CYMOTIVE Technologies, said he is excited about the potential, but noted there are hurdles to overcome.

“We are aware of the significant technological challenges that will face us in the next years in dealing with the cybersecurity threats facing the connected car and the development of the autonomous car,” Diskin said.

The potential security threats associated with future automobiles are one of the biggest points of contention among drivers and automakers. Hacks of certain Jeep models have already been confirmed, but it is still unclear as to just how many potential threats drivers of connected cars face. In the Jeep situation, hackers were able to disable the car’s brakes, but the test wasn’t necessarily indicative of what could happen in a real-world scenario.

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