VIDEO: Mercedes Theft In England Reveals The Security Flaw Of Keyless Entry Systems

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Added in: News

Spate of vehicle thefts exploiting keyless entry systems continue. Following further news coverage of CCTV footage capturing the theft of a car with apparent ease, vehicle security experts Thatcham Research are offering guidance to worried drivers. But first, watch the Gone In 60 Seconds style high-tech theft in the video below [Credit: West Midlands Police, UK]:

The ‘transmitter relay’ attack seen in the footage exploits a vulnerability in a vehicle’s keyless entry system, with criminals amplifying or capturing the signal from a keyless or ‘smart’ fob. The thieves used a relay box to receive signal from the keyfob inside the house which was then transferred to the second box which was held near the car. The hack tricked the vehicle in believing that it is being accessed by the actual keyfob.

Keyless fobs, which should not be confused with standard remote fobs, allow drivers to easily open and start their vehicle without pressing the fob or even having to remove it from their pocket.

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Richard Billyeald, Chief Technical Officer at Thatcham Research comments, “Keyless entry systems on cars offer convenience to drivers, but can in some situations be exploited by criminals. Concerned drivers should contact their dealer for information and guidance, and follow our simple security steps. We are working closely with the Police and vehicle manufacturers to address this vulnerability, continuing our approach that has driven vehicle crime down 80% from its peak in 1992.”

Safe parking tips:

While keyless entry system provides convenience, we recommend using a good steering lock. Also, if you do not have a personal parking or stay in a rough neighborhood, buy a good wheel lock. These safety products may take a couple of minutes to unlock but they’d definitely make stealing the vehicle more difficult. Secondly, park your vehicles on well-lit location, and preferably somewhere you can watch it easily.

Do you have any additions to those safety tips? Let us know your views through the comments section below.

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