Experts issue advice to stop keyless theft
In the wake of recently released footage showing a car beingstolenbyremoteaccess, security experts are urging drivers to take action to protect themselves.
The CCTV clip released by West Midlands Police shows a Mercedes being stolen from outside its owner’s house by thieves using a relay box to fool the car’s security systems.
Relay boxes work by picking up signals from a car’s key fob and transmitting them to a second box held near the car. The relayed signal fools the car’s systems into thinking that the actual key is presentandallowsthethieves to open and start the car.
Remote locking fobs which require a button press, are not vulnerable to such attacks but the increasingly common keyless entry and start systems, which allow no-touch access to cars are.
Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at security specialists Thatcham Research commented: “Keyless entry systems on cars offer convenience to drivers, but can in some situations be exploited by criminals. Concerneddriversshouldcontact their dealer for information and guidance, and follow our simple security steps:
Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been anysoftwareupdatesyoucan take advantage of?
Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirmthis,thendosoovernight.
Store your keys away from household entry points. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify the signal.
Be vigilant. Keep an eye out forsuspiciousactivityinyour neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the police.
Review your car security. Checkforaftermarketsecurity devices such as Thatchamapproved mechanical locks and trackers.