Stealing Cars Without Needing the Keys

Source: Car thieves can break into a car in under a minute by using high tech devices. By using a relay box, the code can be obtained from a nearby key (but not in the thief’s possession) and relay the unlocking code to the car’s on board computer. Once this relay is completed the car will respond by opening the doors. You can purchase a relay box on eBay for a little over $100. Relay theft kits have 2 transmitters / receivers that communicate with each other. One is used to scan for the key and communicate with the key fob to obtain the access code. Once the code is obtained, this relay box will transmitter the code to the other relay box. When the code is received by the second box (located near the target vehicle) it will transmit the code to the car’s onboard computer and the car will unlock. Cars that are equip with keyless entry systems are susceptible to relay theft. One deterrent is to keep the car fob in a metal case. This will ground the signal and prevent it from being read by the relay box. Another is to use conventional devices like the steering wheel lock. As cars get more convenient for the owner, they also get more vulnerable to thieves.

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