T­hie­ves can s­te­al top cars in six­ty se­conds

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Nuus -

Cri­mi­nals can now use a new high-tech met­hod to o­pen techno­lo­gi­cal­ly ad­van­ced vehi­cles wit­hout e­ven tou­ching them and dri­ving a­way within se­conds.

The met­hod in­vol­ves u­sing two de­vi­ces to “trick” a vehi­cle in­to “sen­sing” its en­try fob is ne­ar­by. T­his met­hod words on cars w­he­re the en­try key is re­ad by the car if it is in a poc­ket or hand­bag. So the ad­van­ta­ge and com­fort of ne­ver ha­ving to hunt for a key has been com­pro­mi­sed.

Car ma­nu­fac­tu­rers are trying to co­me up with a so­lu­ti­on, but so far it is pro­ving a ca­se of “cat and mou­se”, ac­cor­ding to a re­cent re­port in the Man­ches­ter E­ve­ning News.

The new met­hod of theft is con­si­de­red as con­tri­bu­ting to a 44% in­cre­a­se in car theft in the north of Eng­land in re­cent y­e­ars - twi­ce the na­ti­o­nal a­vera­ge.

UK po­li­ce are now war­ning dri­vers to be a­wa­re of the t­rend and ap­pa­rent­ly one of the best ways dri­vers can pre­vent theft is by u­sing an old-fashi­o­ned ge­ar lock.

For the sa­ke of con­ve­nien­ce, mo­re af­for­da­ble fa­mi­ly cars now al­so get the au­to­ma­tic fob sy­stem, which al­lows dri­vers to o­pen and start a vehi­cle wit­hout e­ven tou­ching a but­ton.

T­hie­ves, who are of­ten lin­ked to or­ga­ni­sed cri­me, buy a re­lay am­pli­fier and trans­mit­ter on the in­ter­net. One cri­mi­nal then stands by the car with the trans­mit­ter, whi­le a se­cond wa­ves the am­pli­fier ne­ar the hou­se w­he­re the car is par­ked.

If the car’s fob is c­lo­se e­nough, the am­pli­fier will de­tect its sig­nal - e­ven through doors, walls and win­dows.

The de­vi­ce am­pli­fies it and sends it to the ac­com­pli­ce’s trans­mit­ter.

The trans­mit­ter then ef­fecti­ve­ly be­co­mes the key, “tricking” the car in­to thin­king the re­al key is ne­ar­by.

The t­hie­ves are a­ble to o­pen the car, push the start but­ton and dri­ve a­way. Vehi­cles can be ta­ken in un­der a mi­nu­te.

Tes­ts by the ADAC, the Ger­man e­qui­va­lent of the AA , “tric­ked” key­less sen­sor techno­lo­gy in­to thin­king the o­w­ner and fob was ne­ar­by. Vehi­cles from ne­ar­ly 30 ma­nu­fac­tu­rers we­re un­loc­ked and do­zens of mo­dels we­re com­pro­mi­sed.

Po­li­ce fi­gu­res s­how that be­t­ween Oc­to­ber 2015 and Sep­tem­ber 2016, a to­tal of 4 572 vehi­cles we­re sto­len in Gre­a­ter Man­ches­ter. The fi­gu­re for the sa­me pe­ri­od in 2016 and 2017 was 6 564.

The s­hort-ran­ge ra­dio trans­mit­ter u­sed has to be within a cer­tain ran­ge to work - u­su­al­ly fi­ve to 20 me­tres from the car.

A sur­veil­lan­ce vi­deo shared by West Mid­lands Po­li­ce shows how car-hacking t­hie­ves sto­le a Mer­ce­des par­ked on the dri­veway of a ho­me within a few se­conds - wit­hout keys and wit­hout e­ven tou­ching the vehi­cle.

La­test fi­gu­res, re­le­a­sed by 40 po­li­ce for­ces, sho­wed 85 688 vehi­cles we­re sto­len in 2016 in the UK - up 30% from 65 783 in 2013.

Ri­chard Bil­ly­e­ald, chief techni­cal of­fi­cer at T­ha­t­cham Re­se­arch, ex­perts in vehi­cle sa­fe­ty and se­cu­ri­ty, said, “Key­less en­try sy­s­tems on cars of­fer con­ve­nien­ce to dri­vers, but can in so­me si­tu­a­ti­ons be ex­ploi­ted by cri­mi­nals."

He said con­cer­ned dri­vers should con­tact their de­a­ler for in­for­ma­ti­on and gui­dan­ce, and fol­low so­me sim­ple se­cu­ri­ty steps. The or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on is wor­king clo­se­ly with the po­li­ce and vehi­cle ma­nu­fac­tu­rers to ad­dress t­his vul­ne­ra­bi­li­ty.

Cars that we­re un­loc­ked du­ring tes­ting in Ger­ma­ny:

Al­fa Ro­meo Gi­u­lia

Au­di A3, A4, A4 A­vant, A5, A6, A6 All Ro­ad, R8, SQ7, TTS

BMW 225xe, 318i, 318d, 520d, 640d, 730d, 740, 740d, i3, Ah i3 94, X1, X1 SD­ri­ve 18d Citro­ën DS4 CrossBack, C3 Pu­re Tech, C4 Pi­cas­so, C4 Pi­cas­so HDI, S­pa­ce­tou­rer

Fi­at 124 S­pi­der

Ford Eco-Sport, Ed­ge, Fo­cus RS, Ga­laxy, Mus­tang, S-Max

Hon­da HR-V

Hyun­dai i10, i30, i30 1,4 T-GDI, iX35 Fu­el Cell, i40, San­ta Fe, In­fi­ni­ty Q30

Ja­guar F-Pa­ce

Kia Ni­ro Hy­brid, Op­ti­ma, Op­ti­ma plug-in hy­brid Land Ro­ver Dis­co­ve­ry, Ran­ge Ro­ver E­vo­que Lexus RX 450h

Ma­z­da 3 Sky­acti­ve, CX-5

Mer­ce­des E 220d, E 220d T-Mo­dell

Mi­ni Clu­bman, Cooper S Ca­brio Mi­tu­bis­hi Out­lan­der,

Spa­ce S­tar

Nis­san Le­af, Na­va­ra,

Qashqia, Qashqia+2

O­pel Am­pe­ra, Astra Peu­ge­ot 508 W, 3008

Re­nault Cap­tur, C­lio, Kad­jar, Mé­ga­ne, Mé­ga­ne Grand­tour, S­ce­nic, Ta­lis­man

S­ko­da Ko­di­aq, Oc­ta­via, Su­perb 1,6TDi S­sang­ty­ong Ti­vo­li XDi

Su­zu­ki SX4 S-Cross, Ba­le­no, Vi­ta­ra Su­ba­ru Le­vorg

Te­sla Mo­del S P85

Toyo­ta C-HR 1,8 Hy­brid, Mi­rai, P­ri­us, P­ri­us 1,8 Hy­brid, RAV4, Ver­so

Vol­vo V40, S90, S90 D5, V90 D5, XC90 T8 Volks­wa­gen Golf 7 TSI, Golf 7 GTD, Pas­sat GTE, Ti­guan, Tou­ran 5T

HOW TO S­TOP T­HIE­VES

The­re are a few sim­ple me­a­su­res dri­vers can ta­ke.

Pe­op­le with key­less cars are ur­ged to use old-fashi­o­ned crook locks for s­teer­ing w­heels or ge­ar sticks; in­stall a dri­veway par­king post; or use a w­heel clamp.

Car de­a­lers­hips may al­so be a­ble to up­gra­de a car’s techno­lo­gy to help foil cri­mi­nals.

Fobs can be de­acti­va­ted at nig­ht in so­me ca­ses.

Ri­chard Bil­ly­e­ald, chief techni­cal of­fi­cer at T­ha­t­cham Re­se­arch, sug­ge­sted that dri­vers:

Con­tact their de­a­ler and ask a­bout pos­si­ble soft­wa­re up­da­tes;

Check if en­try fobs can be tur­ned off - and do so at nig­ht;

Sto­re keys and fobs a­way from doors and win­dows;

Kee­ping a key­less en­try fob out of sig­ht is not e­nough - t­hie­ves on­ly need to be ne­ar it to am­pli­fy the sig­nal;

Sto­re fobs in a me­tal tin, but test it is ef­fecti­ve in blocking the sig­nal.

I­ma­ge from a UK sur­veil­lan­ce vi­deo.

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