Car-Theft “Mystery Device”: Guarding against a Potential Problem, Real or Imagined
Thieves are allegedly using a “mystery device” called a relay attack unit to unlock in addition to drive off in cars in addition to trucks with keyless-entry fobs in addition to push-button starters, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) Yet again warned in which week.
On the heels of prior warnings in addition to studies conducted on similar theft methods, NICB spokesman Roger Morris said the agency got its hands on one of the devices in addition to tested the idea on 35 different vehicles. The testers were able to open 19 of the vehicles in addition to could start in addition to drive away in 18 of them. The contraption used by the NICB consisted of two modules, one the size of a tablet in addition to the various other roughly the size of a garage-door opener, however the agency wouldn’t elaborate on its exact construction.
Morris said the NICB first commenced seeing such mystery devices surface about two years ago however has yet to be able to quantify how often the devices have been used in vehicle thefts. Feedback by some of its member insurance companies suggests in which for some stolen vehicles, “these are the only explanation,” Morris said. The NICB bought their test device through a third party, which Morris said he couldn’t name. We’ve begun looking for such devices ourselves, with designs on performing our own tests; we’ll let you know if we’re able to secure any devices in addition to how well they work—or don’t.
For police in Modesto, California, a city in which the NICB cites as having the highest rate of car theft last year, such devices indeed remain a mystery. “I can tell you in which we haven’t seen the idea first hand,” said Sgt. Tony Dominguez, of the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force, which oversees Modesto. Dominguez did not rule out the existence of such devices inside the county in addition to added in which sometimes with newer in addition to higher-end vehicles, the thieves are difficult to locate.
The alleged rise of the mystery devices comes as hardware can be increasingly replaced by software in cars in addition to trucks, generating the vehicles both more secure against traditional, slim-jim-carrying crooks however possibly more susceptible to sophisticated hackers. the idea has created a cat-in addition to-mouse game between OEMs—who are trying to ensure vehicles are secure even as they become more computerized, sharing findings in addition to research via alliances—in addition to increasingly savvy car thieves.
Auto thefts dropped dramatically by a peak of about 1.6 million in 1991 to about 700,000 in 2013 however have been back on the rise recently, according to the NICB. Regardless of whether or not these devices pose an actual widespread threat, for owners of cars in addition to trucks with keyless entry, Morris said one obvious way to prevent such a theft can be to be alert. “If you see someone suspicious standing around, take a second look, don’t confront anybody, in addition to report the idea to the police,” he said.
Morris also advised against leaving important papers inside glovebox in which show your home address, as well as keys to your home. In lieu of having a physical vehicle registration in your car, keep a picture of the idea on your cellphone, he said. To in which, we’ll add: Try to park inside (including parking garages) if at all possible, in addition to don’t leave valuables in plain sight.
- Auto Industry Unites to Take Countermeasures against Hackers
- Can Your Car genuinely Be Hacked? Six Points to Know
- Study: Key Fobs of 100 Million Cars Vulnerable to Easy Hacks
Sgt. Dominguez agreed with these prevention measures. For the ultra-worried, he also suggested a tried-in addition to-true, old-school theft deterrent: the Club. “If you still have in which type of mechanism, you still have one extra step on keeping the idea by getting stolen,” he said, adding in which his task force gives them out for free to owners of the county’s top 10 stolen nameplates. “[The Club] can be not 100 percent effective, however the idea definitely creates a deterrent.”