Cars have seamlessly integrated into the digital world in the modern era, where technology constantly evolves, and connectivity and convenience are crucial. However, according to the experts at experts at locksmithslocator.com, as technology evolves, new issues arise. As our cars become smarter, so do the thieves, adapting to the digital world and finding innovative ways to exploit vulnerabilities.
How Keyless Car Theft Are Executed
Conventional metal keys to open or start a car are no longer necessary, thanks to keyless car security systems. Once a fob, card, or smartphone app enters the car range, you can start the car with just a press of a button. Advanced systems can capture and retransmit radio waves from the fob, fooling the car into thinking it is in range of a genuine fob or digital key. App hacking, signal relaying, signal jamming, key programming, and code grabbing can all be used to commit keyless car theft.
If your fob is still within range of the car when not in use, thieves can simply pull the handle to unlock the doors. They can program blank keys once inside. Although the car may not start because the fobs must be inside, thieves may take valuables stored inside. Nonetheless, special devices such as close-range testers can improve the signal, which may cause the car to start. While turning off your key fobs when not in use prevents such theft, few manufacturers support the feature. When some fobs are left idle for an extended period of time, they automatically turn off. Choose fobs with motion sensors if possible.
Short-range signals are released by fobs, smartphone apps, and Radio Frequency IDs (RFIDs), which the car detects when they are in range. Each car is programmed to recognize specific signals to unlock its doors or start the engine. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept signals from the genuine key and relay them to the vehicle. Opening the car door by standing nearby, relaying the signals, and touching the door handle is possible. Once inside, the thief can retransmit the signal to start the engine and even program a blank fob to work with the vehicle. Once a signal is captured, some devices can decipher the code.
Even though the process is complicated and rarely works, experts warn that it is a looming threat. Keep your keys out of sight, out of range of the car, and in a signal-blocking box or aluminum tin to avoid signal relaying. You can also keep your fob in a protected wallet.
Thieves can jam signals directed at your car using transmitters that operate on the same frequency as your fob. If you don’t check the lights or confirm that the car is locked, the transmitter can be hidden near the fob or car and block lock signals, leaving the locks open. To avoid signal jamming, ensure the car’s indicators flash, mirrors fold, or you hear a clunk, lock, or alert sound confirming the car is locked.
The interaction of car lock systems and mobile apps adds a new attack vector. If thieves gain access to your app logins or phone, they can also access your car. Always keep your car system and mobile app up to date to avoid software flaws. Some car manufacturers allow you to download and install updates via USB. In contrast, others require installing a modem or SIM card for the system to update automatically. Be wary of malicious software containing backdoors if you download the software yourself.
Cars that have been on the market for over a decade must have a standard diagnostic port. If thieves gain access to your vehicle, whether they break windows or relay signals, they can access a standard diagnostic port, typically located on the front footwell of cars that start by pressing a button. They can then use sophisticated devices to boot your car software and reprogram a blank key fob.
Other precautions include manually locking the steering wheel, pedals, or wheels. Locking your diagnostic port can also keep wired car systems from being hacked. Tracking systems monitor the vehicle for unusual activity and notify the owner. If the car is stolen, you can remotely deactivate and track it using the tracker’s advanced features.
Thieves’ tactics evolve in tandem with the advancement of security systems, and no technology, no matter how advanced, can provide complete protection against a professionally executed theft. While most of these security measures are not obvious to the average car owner, keeping your car out of sight can help you avoid most car thefts. Storing your car in a secure area with CCTV cameras or inside a locked garage prevents access. When it comes to automobile security, you can never be too cautious.
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