Have you ever accidentally misplaced your car keys in your refrigerator? Maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you something. A new form of auto theft may mean that your fridge is actually the safest place to store your car keys.
As I do with each of my books, while I was writing Black Jack I did a ton of research. I was looking for a clever way to steal a bulletproof car. What I found was too fascinating not to share.
Do you know how modern day criminals steal cars? Smashed windows and hot-wiring are a thing of the past. Now there are new threats on the scene.
For the last decade, viral emails have been circulating warning people to lock their doors manually. At first, there was little evidence that these emails were more than scams or clickbait. But new developments in technology suggest that maybe you should be worried after all. Your car may not be safe. Anywhere.
A research company in Beijing called Qihoo 360 has discovered that vehicles with keyless entry and ignition systems from at least ten manufacturers are vulnerable to being hacked.
How does this work?
For as little as $20 online, a thief can construct or buy a boosting device that allows him or her to break into and start your car within seconds without damaging it. The boosting device works by relaying RKE signals from the owner’s key fob to the vehicle without the key fob being present.
Boosting devices consist of two parts. The first part finds a signal from the wireless key and then relays it to the second part of the device held near the vehicle.
“Rather than try to crack that radio code, the hacker’s devices instead copy it, then transmit it via radio from one of the hackers’ devices to the other, and then to the key. “ – Snopes.com
This form of auto theft can occur at a coffee shop, or while you’re at work or waiting in the dentist office.
Here is an example of how thieves could steal your LOCKED vehicle in the time if takes you to buy a coffee.
Scary, right? It gets worse.
Signals from boosting devices can reach long distances and travel through wood and glass. This means that your vehicle could be stolen while you’re sleeping.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Luckily, boosting devices can’t penetrate metal. This means that there are several ways to outsmart car thieves.
- Store your keys in a special pouch that blocks RFID signals
- Store your keys in the refrigerator
- Invest in a steering lock for your steering wheel
- Place a hidden tracker on your vehicle in case it is stolen