Volkswagen: Secure Sharing of Virtual Car Keys App

Volkswagen-Secure Digital Car Key App

The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cars and commercial vehicles and the largest vehicle manufacturer in Europe. With ever-increasing amounts of digital and software-based components being used in vehicles, it recognizes the importance of a user experience which is both smooth and secure.

The Challenge – Securing digital car key sharing from hackers and malware 

VW recognizes the importance of smart mobility to today’s consumers. They are used to managing their lives on their smart devices and virtual car keys are the next step. However, security must be married with accessibility if consumers are to trust in this technology. Importantly, it is about more than just securing the virtual car key on the handset – access rights need to be securely shared across devices when sold, hired, lent or jointly owned. For this reason, it is working to enable its customers to use their smartphones to access their vehicles and to securely share their car keys via a smartphone app. To make this a reality, VW needed to protect its smartphone app from hacking and malware. In addition, to enable the secure transfer of keys, it also needed to ensure that sensitive information and key transfer requests were securely displayed to, and approved by, real users and not some malware simulating a user input.

The Solution – Marrying security with accessibility

VW selected Trustonic Application Security to enable their virtual car keys to be securely shared between smartphones. Working with Trustonic enables VW to benefit from the Trustonic Secure Platform and its Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), with, in the case of VW, the addition of Trusted User Interface (TUI) technology.

The TEE, the hardware-secured operating system (OS), is completely isolated from the device OS (e.g. Android), making it, and trusted applications (TAs) residing in it, well protected from software threats resident on the device. Importantly, Trustonic’s is the only ‘open’ TEE technology that can be accessed by app developers enabling service providers such as VW to deliver experiences that are simpler, richer and faster, because they are more secure.

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