MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hackers and criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Many use people’s car key fobs to break into cars.
FOX13 Consumer Advisor Kate Bieri explains how they do it.
When you get into your car without a physical key, do you ever worry about security?
One person said they weren’t worried even if the hackers hacked the key fobs.
This is exactly what a team of researchers did.
The door was locked, they have a computer nearby and within seconds the car lights were on and the door was open.
Rajesh says, “And I thought, you know what, maybe let’s try this and try it on my car,” said Rajesh, a junior at Dartmouth University. “The next thing you know, with this, it worked.”
Rajesh and his co-researcher, Blake Berry, are computer security researchers who prefer to remain incognito.
They were not only able to open the car, they also started it.
When the pair was asked how easy was it?
“Oh 200%,” Rajesh said. “I mean, an 8-year-old could do it.”
The computer could have been in a car parked nearby at a site picking up the signal sent by your remotes, a built-in transmitter, and the car owner could have been in the store not realizing someone walked in through breaking into his car, according to AAA warnings. .
“They came up with a device that would actually boost your signal fob, so it doesn’t have to be right next to the car, but they can still access it using your signal fob,” Shuppe said.
“And what they’re trying to do is retrieve your codes,” Michael Chan said.
Michael Chan knows it.
He programs backup and replacement remotes at the company he started 20 years ago, Duplicating Keys.
Now it’s fobbed and he said newer car models with rolling codes on their fobbs are safer.
“The pins keep rolling,” he said. “So it’s difficult to duplicate the existing number.”
But it’s not available in older systems like the pre-2021 models that Rajesh was testing and which many automakers aren’t upgrading.
“But they’re not implementing this technology anyway, which is quite alarming,” Rajesh said. “If they did, then what we’re basically doing wouldn’t work at all.”
So when you leave your vehicle parked in a store or even at home, what can you do?
“Or, you know, when you’re home, keep your keys with these key fobs in a metal container, because that’s going to block the signal from going out or getting in,” Shuppe said. “Or you can invest in one of these RFID pouches.”
The sachets act as a shield and are widely available.
“So you can get them on Amazon for about $10, maybe $20,” Rajesh said. “And that basically prevents anything from happening. I mean, nothing is electrically safe and probably never will be.
Our advice for you, get things out of your car and don’t leave them in your car. Even if they fixed it, they would find another way in.
So even if you’re away from your car with your key in your purse or pocket, keep an eye on your vehicle because someone could fly away with it.
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