Stop Your Keyless Car Getting Hacked

Posted on Friday 24 May 2019 by CarTakeBack

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Lots of new cars have keyless technology. This involves a key fob that transmits a signal telling the car that you are close by. Drivers whose cars have this technology can open and start their cars without having to get their keys out of their pocket.

This technology is great if you have your hands full of shopping, or if your key has a habit of working its way to the bottom of your handbag. However, they are at risk of being hacked by car thieves using a relay amplifier. One person stands near where the key is with the amplifier, and the other stands by the car with a transmitter, which acts as the key for the car, allowing them to unlock the car and drive it away.

Key fob opening car

Vehicle manufacturers are upgrading the technology all the time, so soon this might be a thing of the past. But for now, here is what you can do to avoid your keyless car being opened and driven away:

1. Keep Your Car's Software up to Date

Manufacturers keep their technology up to date by releasing software updates for their cars. Check the manufacturer's website, or give your car dealer a call, to find out how to get the latest software release. Most car makers will have a mailing list that you can sign up to, which will email you every time there is an update for your car.

2. Keep Your Key Fob Away From the Front of the House

The relay amplifier relies on the key being within signal range. Keeping the key away from the exterior walls of your house will stop the amplifier picking up your key's signal.

3. Store Your Key Fob in a Metal Tin

Metal tins and Faraday containers can block the signal of your key fob, which will stop the amplifier from reaching it. Pop your fob into one when it's at home. Make sure you test the tin is blocking the signal by trying to open the car with the fob in the tin, in close proximity to the car.