Protecting Your Car from Key Fob Hackers

(Photo: Big Stock Image)

(WTNH) — Car technology has allowed for convenience of newer vehicle owners making it easier to unlock or even start a car from far away.

With that ease, this type of technology has also made car theft cleaner. Break-ins have now shown little damage to the actual vehicle and no signs of forced entry. Thieves have become more tech-savvy, hacking into car keys in the form of key fobs or wireless transponders.

By using keyless power amplifiers, or scanner boxes, and by utilizing radio frequency (RF) transmitters which figure out the unique code of a key, these savvy criminals are able to increase the range of detection and unlock a car.

Generally, a key fob will only communicate with a car when it is in range of a few feet of the automobile. However, a device that thieves are using simply amplifies the signal, making the key fob seem as though it is closer to the car and giving the ability for the car to be unlocked remotely. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has conducted a study on these devices with some of their findings revealed in a video.

Related Content: Thieves stealing catalytic converters from cars at train station

Car owners should be more alert with RFID technologies becoming more prevalent in everyday items like EZ-Pass toll payment transponders and building access cards. Even data from passports which have a microchip can also be easily hacked into.

How do you prevent these security vulnerabilities? Shield items that have RFID transponders by using specialty signal blocking cases or simply wrapping key fobs in aluminum foil, a metal box or a Faraday Bag. There have been other recommendations in regards to putting your key fob in the refrigerator, a microwave or freezer, however, this can cause damage.

The number of incidents in Connecticut caused by these key fob hacks is unknown.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s