Cars with Keyless Entry in danger, allow theives to hack system

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In the 80's and 90's breaking into cars was fairly easy for a skilled thief, it still is.

Many movies scenes show car thieves sticking coat hangers down inside the car's door in order to get at the locking mechanism and open the door. From there, the thief would have to rip open the car's ignition panel and hot wire the car by crossing certain wires together.

This entire process could be accomplished relatively quickly if done by someone with a bit of experience.

Soon automakers began developing more complex systems (auto - lock, alarm systems, etc.) and added micro chips to keys which resulted in it being much harder to make duplicates.

As cars became more advanced computers took over operating everything including the locks and in came the keyless entry system.

The way most keyless entries operate is by fob. This means that the automaker programs the car's computer with a code and creates a fob with the same code on it in order to unlock the car, this fob is then issued to the car's buyer.

The car is constantly searching for this code and whenever the issued fob comes within range of the car's computer it will allow the person with the fob to control the car.

This is very convenient and is not the problem.

The problem is that the car's computer can also program blank fobs with its code.

Now its quite apparent that this is not safe because any thief with the right equipment can access the car's computer via the diagnostic port, which is the same port your mechanic uses when looking at the check engine light, and program themselves their own copy of your car's key.

From there then can simply drive away.

We can only hope that automakers begin implementing a new strategy to combat thieves in this never ending battle for security.