Have you got a newer model car that uses these types of keyless car remotes to enter, lock, or even start your vehicles engine?
We doubt you’d be surprised to hear that criminals (of course) have figured out ways to hack into those remotes and get into your car with ease. L.A.P.D. Wilshire Detectives recently issued a Crime Alert on this exploit.
Here’s some excerpts from a story that appeared in the magazine Wired about this new crime…
FOR YEARS, CAR owners with keyless entry systems have reported thieves approaching their vehicles with mysterious devices and effortlessly opening them in seconds. After having his Prius burgled repeatedly outside his Los Angeles home, the New York Times‘ former tech columnist Nick Bilton came to the conclusion that the thieves must be amplifying the signal from the key “fob” in the house to trick his car’s keyless entry system into thinking the key was in the thieves’ hand. He eventually resorted to keeping his keys in the freezer.
Now a group of German vehicle security researchers has released new findings about the extent of that wireless key hack, and their work ought to convince hundreds of thousands of drivers to keep their car keys next to their Pudding Pops. The Munich-based automobile club ADAC recently made public a study it had performed on dozens of cars to test a radio “amplification attack” that silently extends the range of unwitting drivers’ wireless key fobs to open cars and even start their ignitions!
The researchers say that 24 different vehicles from 19 different manufacturers were all vulnerable, allowing them to not only reliably unlock the target vehicles but also immediately drive them away!
“This clear vulnerability in [wireless] keys facilitates the work of thieves immensely”.“The radio connection between keys and car can easily be extended over 1000 feet, regardless of whether the original key is, for example, at home or in the pocket of the owner.” Apparently the attack device can be “had” for —are you ready for this — a mere $225.
Some of the manufacturers tested included BMW, Audi (A3, A4, A6), Ford, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Lexus, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Range Rover’s Evoque, Nissan, Kia, and apparently Tesla who issued a software update that may thwart these exploits. It’s advised that you check with your perspective auto manufacturer to see if your model is vulnerable.
Soccer superstar David Beckham’s $100,000 BMW was stolen using these new exploits. Read about it here
Here’s a short video from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.. This video says that they don’t see evidence hackers can start and steal your car outright but that contradicts the German study cited in this article.
In the meantime, here’s some tips to protect yourself just in case. You can try to keep your keyless remote in the freezer of your refrigerator — BUT– be careful that it not damages your car’s remotes batteries. Always check with your car dealer first! Or, you can purchase your own “Faraday” cages here on Amazon.
Whatever you do — read up about these exploits — in these articles.