Thanks to Keyless Entry, Some Cars Can Be Stolen in 10 Seconds
The magazine What Car? used tech popular with thieves to demonstrate
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” That’s Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park talking about dinosaurs, but he could just as easily have been talking about keyless cars.
In the latest issue of What Car?, the magazine found that cars with keyless entry and start technology could be stolen in as little as 10 seconds.
The test, as cited in BBC News, was conducted on seven different models. Both an Audi TT RS Roadster and DS 3 Crossback were unlocked and driven away in 10 seconds, and a Land Rover Discovery Sport was stolen in just 30 seconds. You may not recognize French automaker DS because What Car? is a U.K. publication, and thus all the vehicles were U.K. models, but the findings are still important for U.S. drivers.
According to the BBC, “What Car? security experts performed the tests using the same specialist technology operated by thieves.” The publication explains how the technology works in the video below; and while the devices may not be available at your local hardware store, the magazine’s ability to buy the necessary items and replicate it for their tests show how simple it is for thieves to essentially hack modern keyless systems.
The parent companies for some of the vehicles issued responses to the test. According to the VW Group, the Audi parent is constantly improving security with help from police and insurers. As for Jaguar Land Rover, they said the specific Discovery Sport model stolen in half a minute is no longer being produced.
As keyless entry and ignition, and other newer features, are improved, this may become less of a threat in models moving forward. But what about people stuck with the vulnerable older models?
As the article cites, the keyless systems in some cars can be deactivated by dealers. It wouldn’t hurt to look into that.
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