Stealing a car no longer requires a crowbar and knowledge of how to hot-wire a car. Nowadays all a criminal needs is a laptop.
Police in Houston have recently busted a crime ring where car thieves stole more than 100 expensive, high-tech cars using pirated hacking software used to duplicate car keys.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the thief must have hacked into a computerised database of codes used by dealers, locksmiths and auto repair shops used to replace lost key fobs. Once in the car he would have used the database and the vehicle identification number to program a new key fob for the Jeep.
This hacking technique can be done using a laptop and software-defined radio to recreate the unlock signal sent by driver’s key fob.
There is a new generation of car thieves who have figured out how to defeat this technology that was supposed to make it impossible to steal these vehicles. Houston police officer Jim Woods commented that “with more computers being installed into vehicles the more likely it is that the security of those vehicles could be breached with people figuring out ways to manipulate that system.”
“What we now need is multiple layers of protection to make the efforts of carrying out a cyber attack very costly and deter hackers from spending the time and effort,” said Yoni Heilbronn, Vice President of Marketing for Israel-based Argus Cyber Security Ltd., a company developing technologies to stop or detect hackers.
The good news
There are things that you can do however to help protect your car from theft. Outdoor security cameras are a great way to deter burglars and capture anyone that comes onto your property.
To add more layers of protection, there are some unconventional approaches you can take to outsmart car thieves, check out our unconventional tips to protect your car from theft.