The New Era Of Vehicle Thefts & Hacking

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by Robin, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Robin

    Robin Premium

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    There has been a recent spate of vehicles being stolen using new technology exploiting the weaknesses in the smart features most new cars have these days. After years of column locks, immobilisers, central locking and alarms stopping thefts there have been stories where criminals have been able to unlock vehicles, start the engine and drive off with little to no effort.

    It done by relay boxes capturing the signals sent from the key and rebroadcasting them to near the car so it thinks your wanting to get in. Boxes have also been able to disrupt the key from locking the car so people think they have locked the car when they haven't. There have also been instances where apps have being exploited to gain access to the car. For example people accessing the poorly secured Wi-Fi on Mitsubishi's to disable the car alarm.

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    Manufacturers seemed to have opened a can a worms with keyless entry/start and wireless functionality in general. They also seemed to have put very little effort into securing these systems. What's worse is the availability of the equipment needed to hack vechiles. They can be bought all over the internet and don't need any expert skills to operate.

    It think it's disappointing that that, like with Dieselgate, they have known about these things for years and have done very little to rectify them. As a result steering wheel locks, a relic from the 80's, have come back from the dead and people are being told to wrap keys in tin foil or put them in metal boxes!

    I guess manufacturers will have to improve their IT departments as the world of tech and cars merge ever closer. Until then what are people's thoughts on this?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  2. Goetz

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    My 1986 Citroën 2CV (fading red) has not been Stolen once in the past 20 years that I own it.
    But you Could likely get in using a broomstick. Or so I have Heard.
     
  3. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Criminal technology changes along with security technology. It's always give-and-take and not really fair to pin on manufacturers' technology, as it's improving all the time - for the average urchin in the street it's basically impossible to steal a modern car, but modern stuff is often stolen to order rather than just nicked by joyriders.

    Given the unfortunate choice of having a car stolen, I'd rather it happen with a special device than the previous preferred method, which was breaking into your house to physically steal your keys - which is why people started recommending you leave them beside the front door so they didn't find your bedroom and hold a knife to your neck as they took them... Before that it was code-grabbing. Before that it was bending the door frame and hooking the lock then hotwiring the car. Before that you'd just send a brick through the window and hotwire the car...

    I've started parking vehicles from work several streets away from where I live. If the key is literally a five-minute walk in potentially any direction from where a car is parked then I suspect it becomes a lot harder to steal.
     
  4. Eunos_Cosmo

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    Or 90s Honda which were so stealable that a crook could just use any ground-down Honda key (or in some cases, just a Honda key) and have a pretty good chance of it functioning in the car they are trying to steal. :lol:
     
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  5. homeforsummer

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    80s/90s Fords were the same, in Europe at least. I think there were a maximum of about 30 different key types, and since you could quite easily find 30+ Fords in the average car park there was a good chance your key would open someone else's car...
     
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  6. Slash

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    Funny I was just thinking about this the other day. Mainly about how I haven't heard of a stolen car in quite some time.

    Dodge was worse. There was only 5 key cuts in the 80s and by the late 90s there was only 15.

    As far as the Fords go even 30 was a stretch, at least in the US; and they never changed. A key for a 70s car could start a 90s model.
     
  7. Robin

    Robin Premium

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    Right now it's an epidemic in the UK, been regularly in the news with many new vehicles, particularly luxury ones, being driven off. Just in that area where the footage of the Merc being stolen was filmed car theft has doubled in the last two years. Likely a very big market in continental Europe for stolen to order.

    Car security certainly was poor in the 70's and 80's, improved massively in the 90's and 00's and now has started to go in the opposite direction again.

    I think manufacturers have spent too much time developing new tech as another thing to sell on the brochure rather than making it robust and as secure as most other traditional components. There is a lot of 'rushing to market' happening at the moment to stem the massive drop in new car sales.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  8. homeforsummer

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    It's become far, far harder for the average chancer to steal a vehicle, it's just that as technology has changed professional criminals have found loopholes to do so with modern vehicles. Those loopholes will quickly be closed, and the whole cycle will start again, just as it always has done.

    As above, the technique used previously when these vehicles were more "difficult" to steal was to break into your house and steal your keys from wherever they were kept. That was hardly a great state of affairs either.

    What "new tech" did Vauxhall spend developing to "look good in the brochure" for criminals to be able to steal half the car for parts, also a current crime epidemic?...

    2017-07-03_new_32540839_I1.JPG 2574263.main_image.jpg article-2426692-181DD6BB00000578-724_634x421.jpg JS84999608.jpg stream_img.jpg

    ...or is it just that the nature of car crime changes and manufacturers need to react to it?
     
  9. Robin

    Robin Premium

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    What has that got to do with it? They smashed windows to open the bonnets and unscrew the panels... like you can do on any car. They aren't exactly inadequately secured.

    The new technology (computer based 'smart' functionality) is the brochure bulking stuff that draws in buyers and that is the stuff that has often been rushed into production without adequate testing.

    We have had poorly secured keyless entry for nearly a decade. How long exactly do they need to 'react'? We had illegal Diesels on the roads for years until they got caught out and then HAD to react.
     
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  10. kikie

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    *Remote hacking and stealing of Teslas using the autopilot and internet connection*.
     
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  11. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    Damn! I was upset when My front Si badge was ripped off.
     
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  12. Eunos_Cosmo

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    The disfigurement is very disturbing. In some ways I'd rather have a car stolen and I never see it again (and obviously claim insurance) than this horror.
     
  13. Moglet

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    Thieves will always steal cars, no matter what security systems are in place. It's the same as hacking; there will always be a way in and if it's too difficult they'll just resort to breaking into your house and taking the keys anyway.

    Apparently in the Midlands (specifically in my parents hometown) they're now starting to steal the sensors from the front bumpers of cars with auto braking or radar cruise control. Looks like I'll be parking the Seat with the front as close to the wall as possible when we next visit!
     
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  14. Slash

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    There's some truth to this, but even in the 90s it wasn't what it could have been. I can still start my truck with a screw driver same as my 70s.
     
  15. homeforsummer

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    If someone can remove half of your car I'd say that's not fantastic security.
    And yet if this sort of theft has only gone up fairly recently, what does that tell you? It means that either the technology itself has recently become unsecure - in which case manufacturers have only had a short time to react to it - or that it's taken "nearly a decade" for thieves to catch up with the technology the industry is using... neither of which tallies with the Daily Mail-style outrage.