You can stop cyber car thefts by storing your fob in a Faraday pouch, properly locking your car, and etching the registration number.
Car theft had been on the declining rates for a long time, but it is slowly rising due to technological advancement.
The number of cyber thieves has drastically increased over the years, and a lot of them are after your safely parked keyless vehicles. These guys are not coming with screwdrivers and crowbars. Instead, the new generation of tech-savvy thieves uses signal amplifiers and transponders to make a relay attack and steal your car quickly.
What Is A Relay Attack?
A lot of modern cars do not need keys to enter. As long as you have your fob, you can enter and start your car without turning your key. That is user-friendly but is also easy to hack, which has led to increased car thefts.
They used hi-tech devices to hack into the car’s computer and give them access to the vehicle to open and start it without a key.
Connected cars that rely on internet-enabled systems are prone to relay attacks.
These attacks are usually conducted in pairs where one person stands near the vehicle while the other positions near the fob. They use a device to relay the signal from the fob to the car.
Once the transmission is complete, they make a quick getaway.
Some devices can even work from 100 meters away, and the most worrying part is that thieves can easily buy these devices for less than $100 online.
How To Stop Keyless Theft?
96% of modern cars are at risk of these relay attacks.
To stop the thefts, you will also have to know about the many sneaky tricks thieves use to exploit your car’s weakness.
Here are ten tips you can prevent keyless cyber thefts-
1. Insert A Tracking Device
A tracking device increases the chance of recovering your car safely. Tracking devices are readily available and inexpensive to purchase.
There are more effective trackers like the GPS tracker for tesla, which is backed up by insurance. This tracker allows for greater safety and ease of mind.
2. Block Amplified Signal Relayed From FOB
Your fob generally works when you are close to your car, which is 1 foot away. But with hi-tech devices, thieves can catch your signal from over 300 feet away.
This is basically how most relay attacks happen. The signal from your fob gets amplified and transferred to your car without your permission. This occurs mostly at night when you are asleep. A thief can stand close to your house, transmit the signal, and escape.
To stop it, you will need to protect your fob. Buy a metal-lined Faraday pouch and store your fob there. This box or bag acts as a barrier to block any negative signal and keeps your car safe.
3. Keep Your Fob At A Safe Distance
If you do not have a Faraday box or pouch, then you have to be extra careful.
When you are inside your house, keep your fob at a safe distance from doors and windows. Five meters should be a safe enough distance.
4. Keep Your Fob Switched Off
Wireless fobs can be switched off entirely, and in that off-state, no signals can be depicted from it.
You can usually find how to switch it off in your car manual, or you can consult your car dealer or manufacturer to know about it.
5. Lock Your Car
Use traditional methods of immobilizing your car. Use a steering wheel lock to completely down your vehicle. Even if the thieves get through your fob, they will still have a hard time moving the lock.
Steering wheel locks are not as common nowadays, but it seems the right time to bring back some old fashion locking mechanisms.
You can also use bearing wheel clamps when you leave your vehicle out for a long time.
And if you want to reduce your insurance premium, then ask a professional to install an immobilizer.
6. Re-calibrate The Keys
This is important when you are buying used cars. There is a chance you will not get all the keys to the vehicle. This may be accidental, but there is still a risk.
To prevent your previous owners from stealing the car, you will have to reprogram your fob’s keys. Your car manufacturers will be able to do it but at a hefty price.
You should first try contacting any local locksmith to get a better deal.
7. Always Park Carefully
In most cases, it is safe to park in a garage. But be sure to consult your auto locksmith to double-check the security.
And if you have to park in your driveway. Make sure it is as close as possible to you.
If you have to park in the street, make sure you put it in a well-lit spot. Placing CCTV and motion-detecting light is also a good idea.
8. Etch The Last Seven Digits
You can etch your vehicle registration or identification number on the headlight, window, or mirror of your car. By doing so, it makes it harder for any thief to alter it.
9. Do Not Stop In An Empty Spot
This is a relatively new trick where hackers hack into your car system and give a false alarm about the tire pressure. The idea is to lure you into an isolated spot to take away your vehicle forcefully.
Whenever you get these kinds of notifications, make sure you stop in a place with people around.
10. Do Not Forget The Basics
Whenever you leave your car, do not leave essential or costly things behind. Even if you do, make sure you hide them properly.
Park in a well-lit place and double-check all the locks and windows before walking away from the car. You can also tint your window for extra privacy.
Digital theft has become more prevalent than ever, and they are finding new ways to steal your car. The first step to stop this would be to be more self-cautions. There will be more security enhancements, but if you follow the tips mentioned above carefully, you will keep your car safe and sound.