Wireless Grand Theft Auto: Does it sound like a game you’d play?
While it may sound futuristic and space-age, the fact is that this process is becoming much more common.
While it’s been on the rise in many parts of the world, one such theft was recently caught on camera in the UK. In just over a minute, two thieves pulled up to a home, used radio devices to gain remote entry to a Mercedes-Benz, and drove off with it without anyone being the wiser.
TLDR; Smart Car jacking is on the rise, wrap your fob in tin foil and 3 other easy tips below.
How to Protect Yourself
While it’s true that remote attacks are on the rise, it’s also true that protecting yourself from them is not only possible but pretty straightforward. Here are some fast tips:
If you don’t want to invest in an RFID-blocking sleeve, simply wrap your key in metal to block transmission. A metal box will do the trick, as will simply wrapping your key fob in aluminum foil.
Even if they could open the car, they could never drive it. Wal-mart sells them for $10 here.
Although the wireless key fob hacking seems advanced, it relies on one major contingency: for the hacker’s radio device to relay the signal and open the car; it needs to be able to bounce off the actual fob, which is presumably located somewhere nearby — either in an office building or a home. If you can block the real fob’s radio transmissions, you can stop such attacks.
Today, there are several brands on the market engineering RFID-blocking products designed to shield your fob’s signals (one such brand is Faraday).
Keeping your keys in the freezer doesn’t sound great? You could also, of course, lock your car in the garage, if you have one. Not only does this prevent remote break-ins, but it’ll also keep your car safe from tampering and vandalism of all types.
The Rise of Wireless Car Jackings
In April of 2017, Wired published a piece titled “Just a Pair of These $11 Radio Gadgets Can Steal a Car.” The title was alarming, but it was also true. In wireless key fob carjackings, a hacker uses a wireless device to imitate the signal from a car’s wireless key fob to the vehicle itself. This phony signal opens the car’s doors and, in some cases, can even start the engine, making it absurdly easy for the thieves to just drive away.
While it may seem like this is a level of technology only the most advanced hackers could pull off, it’s relatively simple. In fact, a Beijing-based security firm recently tested the process and managed to “steal” a car with a setup they built for just $22. What’s more, these wireless hacking devices are ultra-effective and have a long range. In some cases, they’re ample enough to open and steal cars parked more than 1,000 feet from the imitation key fob device.
So give our locksmiths a call anytime to make sure your security is up to date.