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Keyless Go Technology: The Hacking Scandal

By in Latest News, Locksmith

Do you use a keyless fob to control your car’s locking system and ignition? Despite your car company’s assertion that this keyless system increases your vehicle’s security, you could be more at risk of theft than you think.

The German Automotive Club (ADAC) recently tested 24 different cars with the new Keyless Go technology for safety. And their results were shocking. They managed to break into every single car, and even turn on the ignition and drive them away. The vehicles were 2015 models from nineteen different manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus and Nissan.

So how did they do it?

ADAC used a device which increases the range of the radio signal in the car’s key fob to tell the vehicle that it is closer than it actually is so that it will unlock. This means that if you park your car in the driveway of your home, and leave your key fob in a bowl on your kitchen table, it will be incredibly easy for a thief to hack it. Worse still, the device needed to hack into your keyless security system can be built for only $225; significantly less than the profit they would make off your car if they steal it. ADAC even reported that any second-semester electronics student could put a device together to break into your car. It’s that simple.

What are the car companies doing about it?

Surprisingly little. The brands in question are aware of the experiment and its outcome and are disturbingly silent in their reaction to it. We can only hope that they are working on a solution or offering an alternative traditional key locking system for these new cars.

What you can do to prevent theft.

If your car uses a keyless security system and you are worried about theft, the best way to prevent this is to go back to old school methods. Many car owners are keeping their key fobs in the freezer while they’re home to block the increased radio signal that allows their cars to unlock from a distance. Parking your car in a secured garage is also another preventative measure. Or going back to securing the club onto your steering wheel is a surefire way of keeping the thief from driving your car away.

But at the end of the day, these are precautions you shouldn’t have to put in place. Write to your manufacturer and implore them to take action on improving their keyless security system. After all, you’ve paid for the latest technology, and brands should be delivering this.

If you want to increase the security system in your garage, or need a new car transponder remote, contact Rechenberg today.