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Sat May 14, 2022, 09:15 AM

Car thieves are hacking key fobs to quickly and quietly steal vehicles

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/car-thieves-are-hacking-key-fobs-to-quickly-and-quietly-steal-vehicles

Car thieves are hacking key fobs to quickly and quietly steal vehicles
by Bettie Cross
Thursday, May 12th 2022

...

“A lot of drivers are not aware of this ability for thieves to steal their vehicle by simply just standing outside of their home,” said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas.

AAA says that across the United States, there have been reports that thieves are using power amplifiers to boost the signal from vehicle owners’ key fobs and unlock car doors.

“This can happen to you. It’s not something that’s just a high-tech idea or sci-fi fantasy. This really is happening and, of course, many drivers are finding out the hard way,” said Armbruster.

Keyless car thefts generally take less than two minutes, make little noise, and leave behind no broken glass as evidence a crime has even taken place. AAA says there’s a simple way to protect one of your most expensive pieces of property.

“Don’t leave your key fob in an area near the front door,” said Armbruster. “When you’re at home, store your car keys or fob in a metal cabinet or with some sort of device that protects the radio signal from being intercepted.”


Cars with keyless entry and keyless start are becoming a growing target for thieves. The keyless convenience is being exploited by crooks so they can quickly and quietly pop the locks. (Photo: CBS Austin)


This picture is from a keyless car theft in England. One crook goes to the front door where a lot of people store their key fobs. The signal from the key fob is amplified and relayed to a second device that’s being held close to the car door. The car is tricked into thinking the key fob is next to the door. That allows the car to be opened, started and driven away. (Photo: West Midlands Police)

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Reply Car thieves are hacking key fobs to quickly and quietly steal vehicles (Original post)
dalton99a Saturday OP
honest.abe Saturday #1
dalton99a Saturday #3
honest.abe Saturday #7
aocommunalpunch Saturday #2
KS Toronado Saturday #5
Joinfortmill Saturday #4
bucolic_frolic Saturday #6
dalton99a Saturday #8
Best_man23 Saturday #9
LonePirate Saturday #14
Archetypist Saturday #10
moose65 Saturday #11
honest.abe Saturday #13
MineralMan Saturday #12
NCjack Saturday #16
MineralMan Saturday #17
ColinC Saturday #15

Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 09:18 AM

1. There should be an option to turn off the proximity auto-unlock.

Its convenient but not worth the risk apparently.

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Response to honest.abe (Reply #1)

Sat May 14, 2022, 09:33 AM

3. Car companies would have to add a chip to measure the distance from the real key to the car


They have been talking about it for years

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #3)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:05 AM

7. That would help but why not just disable the proximity unlock.

It’s not something that critical. I would turn it off if I could.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 09:19 AM

2. That's the answer?

Seriously? We all need car key lockboxes?

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Response to aocommunalpunch (Reply #2)

Sat May 14, 2022, 09:44 AM

5. We headed towards fingerprint recognition?

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 09:43 AM

4. too bad they don't put their ingenuity to work in a positive way.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 09:49 AM

6. Faraday Bag? /nt

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #6)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:14 AM

8. Or a different room - or a freezer:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/style/keeping-your-car-safe-from-electronic-thieves.html

Keeping Your Car Safe From Electronic Thieves
By Nick Bilton
April 15, 2015

Last week, I started keeping my car keys in the freezer, and I may be at the forefront of a new digital safety trend.

Let me explain: In recent months, there has been a slew of mysterious car break-ins in my Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles. What’s odd is that there have been no signs of forced entry. There are no pools of broken glass on the pavement and no scratches on the doors from jimmied locks.

But these break-ins seem to happen only to cars that use remote keyless systems, which replace traditional keys with wireless fobs. It happened to our neighbor Heidi, who lives up the hill and has a Mazda 3. It happened to Simon, who lives across the street from me and has a Toyota Prius.

And it happened to our Prius, not once, but three times in the last month.

The most recent incident took place on a Monday morning 10 days ago. I was working at my kitchen table, which overlooks the street in front of my house. It was just after 9 a.m., when one of my perky-eared dogs started to quietly growl at something outside.

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Response to Best_man23 (Reply #9)

Sat May 14, 2022, 11:49 AM

14. Thank you for this recommendation and link.

I'm buying a new car soon that will have a keyless entry system so these bags will be very useful once I train myself to use them.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:30 AM

10. Just use the physical key.

That's what I do. I took the batteries out of my key fob. Problem solved.

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Response to Archetypist (Reply #10)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:43 AM

11. Not necessarily

On my car, there is NO option to start it with a key. The fob is the only way to start the car.

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Response to Archetypist (Reply #10)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:46 AM

13. I like the option to lock and unlock remotely with the button.

I would just like to disable the automatic proximity unlock. That would solve the problem I believe.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:44 AM

12. Another reason to buy base trim models.

Both my KIA Soul and Chevy Trax are base trim. You still use a key to start the car. There's a fob, but it only handles locking and unlocking. They both have old-fashioned keys for the ignition switch, though, and no remote starting feature. Usually, though, we park in the garage, which adds another level of theft prevention.

I've never felt secure with key fob only vehicles. I don't mind using a physical key in my cars.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #12)

Sat May 14, 2022, 12:02 PM

16. With only a screw driver, a thief can steal most cars.

When my wife and I were full-time RVers, the theft of our 2005 F-350 truck (the most stolen model vehicle in NA) would have been a disaster.

For prevention, we had the a Ravelco anti-theft plug installed.

It interrupts multiple electrical circuits that are restored by inserting a 16-pin plug into a receptacle. I have never read of a thief that had the persistence to beat it.

Our insurance company liked it, and over several years the discount we got paid for it.

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Response to NCjack (Reply #16)

Sat May 14, 2022, 12:32 PM

17. Neither of our two cars are really targets for car theft.

They're garaged most of the time, anyhow.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 11:56 AM

15. Se cars will unlock if the key fob is within a certain proximity to the car

,..like cutting out the middle man.

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