Car (South Africa) - - TECH -

Crim­i­nals are get­ting smarter and us­ing new tech to steal cars. The lat­est is known as re­lay at­tacks and fo­cus on ve­hi­cles with keyless en­try and start. In this case, the key fob con­tin­u­ously trans­mits a sig­nal that the car’s se­cu­rity sys­tem picks up when in close prox­im­ity and al­lows the driver to open and start the ve­hi­cle while the key fob re­main in their pocket.

Thieves are us­ing a de­vice to de­tect and cap­ture the key fob sig­nal, and then re­lay­ing it to another de­vice car­ried by an ac­com­plice who stands next to the car. The ve­hi­cle is fooled into be­liev­ing the key fob is present and al­lows ac­cess and ig­ni­tion (al­though for only one drive cy­cle be­cause the key is not present). This works only if your key fob, for ex­am­ple, hangs near your front door and thief num­ber one can pick up its sig­nal. Les­son: if you drive a keyless-en­tryand-start car, keep the fob away from ac­cess points. As an al­ter­na­tive, buy a pro­tec­tive sleeve that em­ploys the Fara­day prin­ci­ple of elec­tro­mag­netic in­duc­tion to shield your key’s sig­nal.

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