You take a few steps to your car and lift your key. The doors open when you press a button. Perhaps the lights shine, and a friendly “boop BOOP!” greets you. This is an automatic habit for millions of drivers. It’s no longer necessary to turn the key in the ignition.
It’s definitely practical. You could, however, be encouraging high-tech car robbers to jack your car and drive away in seconds without setting off an alarm.
Electronic signals are used by your key fob, and newer versions don’t even need you to push a button. Simply walk up to your car and the doors will automatically open. The engine will also start in some vehicles.
The signal from a real keyless car can be intercepted by robbers. How do they manage to do it? Understanding how a “car hacking” works will help you avoid it.
How your car’s security system works
There’s a tiny computer chip inside your key fob. This chip has a one-of-a-kind code that it sends to your vehicle’s security system. The car also has a chip that produces codes using the same algorithm. Simply put, if the codes match, the car will unlock.
How do criminals attack number one?
Manufacturers have known for a couple of years that this chip technology has programming vulnerabilities, and that professional hackers may exploit this weakness to unlock millions of automobiles.
This was a startling revelation. Each key fob/car security combination is one-of-a-kind, and each can generate billions of codes. However, researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the University of Birmingham discovered that intercepting the wireless signal twice reduced the number of potential combinations from billions to 200,000. After that, in less than half an hour, a computer will decipher the code and unlock the car.
A thief may sit on a street collecting wireless signals as car owners enter and exit their vehicles in a real-world scenario. They could then steal a large number of vehicles.
Even, carrying out such an assault requires a professional car thief or hacker, so the chances of it happening to you are slim. However, there is another danger that is far more likely to occur as a result of always-on key fobs.
How criminals attack number two
Always-on key fobs are a serious security flaw in your vehicle. Anyone can unlock the car as long as your keys are within range, and the machine will believe it is you. As a result, newer car models will not unlock until the key fob is within a foot of the vehicle.
Criminals, on the other hand, can buy relatively inexpensive relay boxes that can catch key fob signals from up to 300 feet away and send them to your vehicle.
In other words, your keys could be in your building, and criminals could walk up to your car and unlock it using the relay box. Fortunately, you may take a few quick measures to prevent hackers from stealing your signal.
Steps to stop car thieves
There are a few quick ways to stop offenders from amplifying their signals. A shielded RFID blocking pouch, for example, is a signal-blocking pouch that can hold your keys.
1. Place in the refrigerator. Using your refrigerator or freezer is a free choice. The signal from your key fob would be blocked by the several layers of metal. Simply check with the manufacturer to ensure that freezing your key fob would not damage it.
2. Microwave in a microwave-safe dish. If you don’t want to freeze your key fob, you can use your microwave oven instead. The metal frame should work in the same way that your refrigerator does. However, you must not turn on your microwave at this time, as you may cause significant harm or even start a fire.
3. Foil your key fob: This is a tricky one. You must first show your mates that you are not a believer in any bizarre conspiracy theory. Wrapping your fob in tin foil, on the other hand, can make it difficult to use. However, the technique can avoid hackers from intercepting your signal, and you can even find a small box and line it with foil for storage.
4. Invest in an RFID blocker: This form of signal theft isn’t limited to car key fobs. Radio frequency identification chips are used in newer passports and other forms of identification. A high-powered RFID reader can be used by criminals to steal your details from afar. However, aluminum foil is not needed. RFID-blocking wallets, uses, and passport cases are available.