All modern-day vehicles have the same advantage and the same weakness: Technology. The very thing that is designed to improve the quality of our lives can be used against us in certain cases. The recent crime wave in the UK proves this point, in which thieves steal vehicles with advanced computer systems rather effortlessly by using laptops and power amplifiers. No matter how expensive or how cutting-edge they are, cars that come with keyless entry and ignition systems are being targeted by tech-savvy criminals by exploiting the keyless technology. The tremendous increase in the modern vehicle theft made security companies and car manufacturers pour more effort into improving the existing security systems and create new solutions.
How big a problem is the high-tech vehicular crime?
Police reports indicate that the number of criminals using sophisticated methods to break into and steal cars are on the rise. Over 80.000 cars have been stolen in the last year in the UK, and 70% of the car owners still had their keys on them. Keyless car theft is spreading all over the UK, and in certain neighborhoods, the numbers are exceedingly high compared to regular car theft. Munich-based Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC), the largest auto club in Europe, recently said 110 models from 27 different manufacturers were at risk of being stolen based on the keyless system they used. In a test conducted by the club, which has 19 million members, the cars were easily “stolen” using the frequency-hacking device. An ADAC report said they were not only able to unlock the vehicles but also start them with no problem. “To date, car manufacturers have yet to find a foolproof solution to beat these car thieves,” the ADAC findings concluded.
So how do the thieves do it?
Well, vehicles are equipped with a plethora of technology nowadays with keyless entry being only one of them. But for a criminal with the right tool, it is like a thief finding the keys to your home and address at the same time. The latest crime wave in the UK exposed that millions of cars are prone to hacking and can be stolen in just under a minute by using a gadget that costs a mere £30. They are called power amplifiers, and criminals use these devices to boost the signal generated by the key fob and relay it to the vehicle. This is how it works: Normally, when you walk up to your car and try to open the door, the vehicle wirelessly picks up the signal from your key fob, and if the key is present, the door unlocks. The vehicle computer can perform a search for a key only within a few meters, but with the power amplifier, this range can be boosted to as much as 15 meters. The worst part for car owners is that these devices are so cheap even teenagers can afford them. There is even a separate crime wave where teenagers break into cars and steal the contents using these devices.
Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR8RrmEizVg
How do you protect your vehicle from keyless crime?
The very first thing to do is to prevent your key from transmitting the signal to the amplifiers should the criminals decide to target your vehicle. Car owners are being advised to keep their keys in containers called a “Faraday Cage” which blocks electromagnetic signals emitted from the smart key. You can find it on the market for as low as £15. Additionally, auto-experts advise using a combination of old-fashioned and advanced security measures to stop car thieves in their tracks. Steering-wheel locks, high-quality car alarms, and vehicle tracking systems are the best options to prevent any theft attempts and recover the vehicle in case your car is the next on the list. Among these options, vehicle tracking devices offer the best tools to deal with these adept criminals. Let’s take a quick look at some of these features and how they help to protect your vehicle:
Any unauthorized movement attempt from your vehicle will trigger an alert to notify you and give you the chance to interfere.
Shock Sensor/Vibration Sensor:
The tracking device can be configured to detect sudden impacts on the vehicle and send a notification to the owner.
This feature allows the owner to create virtual perimeters around important locations such as the garage to send notifications every time the device enters or leaves the preset zones. One of the most prominent tools granted by the tracking systems.
Should the worst happen and thieves manage to get away with your car, you can pinpoint its exact location in a matter of seconds and alert the authorities for a quick recovery.
Another definitive solution to theft, immobilization allows the owner to stop the engine remotely. The immobilized vehicle can’t be started again without the owner’s authorization.
Just because you have a new car and it is equipped with the latest technology, it doesn’t mean it is safe. On the contrary, it can be the target of the new crime wave and a resourceful thief can hack into its system and steal your brand new vehicle in under a minute. Researchers from both security companies and car manufacturers are currently working on a solution to install a chip that tells the distance of your key from the car, eliminating any chance of perpetrators to open the car doors remotely or start the engine. But until then, you will need to ensure that no one can steal or break into your vehicle and this is where the vehicle tracking systems come into play. As far as security systems go, vehicle tracking systems are the best on the market. Rewire Security offers GPS based tracking solutions with absolute protection and offers state-of-the-art tools to give the car owners total control over their vehicle.