Ex­perts is­sue ad­vice to stop key­less theft

Sunderland Echo - - Cars -

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.

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