Friday, May 5, 2017

Hacking into Keyless Entry Cars: How Easy it is!

From the British Newspaper The Sun, May 5, 2017 website!

For more on hacking and car theft see my book, Stealing Cars:Technology and Society from The Model T to Gran Torino (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

A FED up Ford owner is going to extreme lengths to protect his vehicle after falling victim to a spate of keyless car thefts.
Matt Smith parked his work van behind his keyless Ford Focus, at about 9.30pm on April 14, and headed into his home –  less than five minutes later he watched as thieves drove the car away.
Matt, of Birmingham, got his car back after the robbers left it in a quiet street, but as spates of keyless car thefts are reported across the country he’s taking some extreme precautions against cyber thieves.
He said: “I put a big chain over the steering wheel and over the horn so if there’s any movement it will sound.”
On top of this site manager Matt is removing the starter relay fuse – a key component of the starting mechanism – every night.
The furious car owner was shocked at how quickly the thieves were able to break into his car and drive off, as gangs continue to target dozens of models by hacking into the keyless systems.
He said: “They got in the car without making any noise and I just saw them pull off.
“I jumped in my work van and I tried to cut them off but they got out in front of me. I took a bend too fast and hit a lamp post writing off my work van.”
Luckily for Matt, 42, who almost lost two vehicles in one night, his local Facebook community spotted his car the following morning.
There was no damage to it and he believes the thieves had planned to pick it up the following day.
Matt is one of many keyless car owners going to extreme lengths to keep their cars safe, as calls grow for manufacturers to do more.
A mum-of-seven whose keyless car was snatched from her driveway as her family slept told Sun Online she now stashes her hi-tech fob in the microwave.
Some of the cyber thieves open cars using an amplifier that extends the unlocking signal up to 300 feet to reach the owner’s fob.
Tests by the ADAC – the German AA – tricked the keyless sensor technology into thinking that the vehicle’s owner is nearby with the fob.
BMW 740, Ford Focus RS, Toyota’s Prius and VW Golf 7 GTD are among the car’s affected.

The only vehicle that the researchers failed to unlock was BMW’s i3
But they were able to start the engine.

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