Technology makes life a lot easier for us. However, it does have a dark side in which cybercriminal robberies enter, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, stealing cars has gone from being a misdemeanor requiring some manual expertise to being a technological crime thanks to the introduction of systems’keyless‘, which allow access to the vehicle without using the physical keys. From the cybersecurity company Panda they point out that there are various means by which a cybercriminal can achieve this. Here are some of the most common.
With a repeater
The first method used is to get as close as possible to a vehicle with a repeater device, while an accomplice stands next to the house, to capture the waves transmitted by the key found inside the victim’s home.
This process takes place in seconds and by the time the person whose car is stolen wants to find out, the thieves have already fled.
For this reason, and “although it seems a very low-tech measure, if our cars do not have cybersecurity systems, the trick of storing the car keys in a metal can is advisable, to keep the system isolated,” says Hervé Lambert, Head of Global Operations at Panda Security.
Using an inhibitor
Another of the criminals’ techniques is to place a inhibitor near a car. You can put it attached to the bottom, for example, since they are small. What this device achieves is that when the owner parks the car and emits the signal to close the doors, the inhibitor blocks this signal, leaving the doors open and ready for thieves.
‘Hacking’ the mobile
Currently, very few car models have an ‘app’ that replaces the ‘keyless’ system, however, this system is becoming increasingly popular, so thefts with this system will also increase. It is enough to ‘hack’ the victim’s terminal or create a fake application that, through malicious code, is able to access the car’s app and thus control it.
Programming new keys
This technique is used to be able to start the car without having to make bridges or force the car. It consists of a device, which is also usually quite cheap, which in less than 15 seconds allows the thief to be connected to the vehicle’s starting software, thus allowing him to start it without further problems.
With a wrench impersonator
This is undoubtedly the most curious method. Through a device shaped like a portable console, the thieves manage to unlock and start a car. The device is marketed by a Bulgarian company SOS Auto Keys and in it you can indicate both the manufacturer and the model of the car, so as not to err in the attempt. The device begins to work when the car door button is pressed, then it collects the signal and records the unique code of the car, to impersonate the car key.
Although the device is not manufactured for this purpose, but to help the rightful owners in case they have lost the key; it has become a key tool for car thieves. In addition, having an exterior like a game console, if someone sees the criminal manipulate it next to a car, they may not be suspicious. This device was already used by a gang of thieves from the United Kingdom, who in October stole five Mitsubishi Outlanders worth 211,207 euros, as reported
How to avoid problems
Besides the advice to put the keys in a metal can, another option is turn them off or remove the batteries in command at night. It is also advisable to always check if the vehicle doors have been closed, keep the car software always updated or install a hidden locator in the vehicle.
In addition, Lambert points out that “it is vitally important that the security systems of intelligent vehicles are reinforced, implementing measures such as firewalls and antivirus, as well as some type of encryption software that is unbreakable for thieves. In this sense and as happens in the vast majority of industries, it is crucial that all companies and public bodies that operate in the technology sector work together to anticipate the risks that cybersecurity implies.