Wireless key : are modern cars too easy to steal?

Engine-Start-StopTechnological advances have not always positive effects. Opening and modern cars wireless Starter systems are extremely convenient. No need to look for his key to open and start his car.
The problem is that it would appear that such systems facilitate greatly the task of car thieves. And if you imagine thieves equipped with computers browsing all possible codes to unlock access to the car, it is actually much simpler than that.

For multiple ways to hack a car, but all are not effective

The great American newspaper USA Today just published an article on the steals made in cars without as these seem to have been broken into by thieves. The article concludes with a recommendation for its readers, that keep the dongle… in their freezer. The stunning conclusion of a survey which highlights the relative fragility of vehicles wireless systems.

Cle Scenic

Warning, your wireless access card can betray you.

In his article for DailyTech, Jason Mick lists multiple ways to hack a vehicle. Break code of the key by brute force, that is to say by trying all possible combinations, is possible with a notebook with an antenna but the operation may request time. Similarly, it is possible to listen to the signal from your key at the moment where you open your vehicle. The builders found the parade with systems that change the codes very quickly on a cycle.
The mode of intrusion the most simple and clever revealed by Boris Danev, founder of 3db Technologies, a Swiss company specializing in vehicle safety, it is the amplification. It is sufficient for the thief to amplify the signals exchanged between the car, whose scope is only a few meters, and the key. Indeed, about whether the driver is close to unlocked the door, the car sends a signal. If the key is to scope it replied and the car will unlock its doors. By amplifying the signal, the goal is to make believe that you are beside your car while you are sleeping you key in your jacket well stored in the closet.

On 10 cars tested, 10 were “stolen”.

Le schéma de principe du dispositif relai testé par 3db Technologies.

Le schéma de principe du dispositif relai testé par 3db Technologies.

It is your own key that will unlock your vehicle a few decades to you. The approach has been tested on a dozen of vehicle with a device 30 m wireless or with cable of 30 and 60 m. cable allows to shorten the delay introduced by the distance between the car and the key. Too long delay and the car will not open. 3dB Technologies has tested an experimental device on 10 vehicles of different types, different brands. The 10 cars were able to be opened and on 10, including luxury cars, it was possible to start the engine and leave with the car. The system of protection of each car had its own specificities but none of the 10 cars could withstand the device with cable 7 m distance. A rather short distance to consider a theft. At 30 meters, much more effective distance for the thief, only one car has been able to stay close. 60 m, thieves could have go thru 4 of the 10 tested cars. The wireless version is shown to be less effective, with 3 cars which were able to resist to the hacking.
In principle, less than complete wireless device Vol-de-voitureby a reader on the car or a keyboard to enter a code, the attack seems unstoppable. Rest to build radio equipment capable of relaying these radio signals. According to USA Today, it is possible to find such amplifiers made in China at $20 only on the net. Equipment inexpensive and the scope of which could reach a hundred meters. That seems doubtful.
Less than make sure do not stay within 100 metres of the vehicle, impossible to be to not be betrayed by his own key. USA Today suggests storing your car keys in one box iron or wrap them in aluminium foil or place them in your freezer!

Translation : Bing Translator

Sources :

“Are “Keyless Entry” Hacks Really the Source of Recent Car Break Ins?”, DailyTech, May 8, 2015

Relay Attacks on Passive Keyless Entry and Start Systems in Modern Cars ” 3db Technologies white paper

“Putting keys in freezer could prevent car break-ins”, USA Today, May 7, 2015

“Watch This Wireless Hack Pop a Car’s Locks in Minutes”, Wired, August 4, 2014

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