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Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

Old 05-03-2006, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 23
Default Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

"With cars as inexpensive as the Toyota Camry offering entirely keyless systems, these concerns a relevant to all consumers."
Old 05-03-2006, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

Although the article didn't speak of how this was done (probably for good reason) I suspect it has to do with using some sort of radio receiver to intercept the signals from both the keyfob and the car. With some knowledge of the algorithms used in the system, it probably wouldn't take much to "spoof" the keyfob.

This sort of vulnerability is why mechanical key with embedded microchop is better -- someone must have both a matching mechanical key, and the digital code. Not only that, but since the communcation between key and computer is done by wire (the key itself) rather than by radio, there's no way to use some sort of sniffer to intercept the communcation.

Also, there's the nonsense of having the car running a receiver all the time "seeking" the keyfob, and a lot more chance of problems such as a car not permitting entry because a battery dies on a keyfob. With a physically linked key, it receives the power it needs for the communication from the car itself, and only when is physically in the ignition. Is it really so much harder to turn a key than to push a button to be worth all that?

A good point that was raised was that both encrption and cracking techniques will improve over time. While in the case of computers, it is trivial to upgrade security software to repair the latest vulnerabilities, upgrading security software on a vehicle ignition will probably be a difficult ordeal -- and another thing to worry about. While top of the line vehicle keyless entry systems could be secure presently, several years down the line, a vulnerability could be found and many current vehicles would still be running non-updated software.

Last edited by Double-Trinity; 05-03-2006 at 08:51 PM.
Old 05-12-2006, 04:23 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6
Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

How is this different from using a slim-jim to steal a non-keyless-entry car? If they want your car, they're going to get it somehow... Opening the door is the least of their troubles.
Old 05-12-2006, 09:44 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bridgeport, Ohio
Posts: 15
Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

Why don't the auto manufacturers just use biometrics? The technology costs a lot less now than it did 10 years ago. The manufacturer could leave the system open-unprogrammed until the dealer sells the car and then the dealer could program the car with the customers fingerprints. That would be sweet
Old 05-13-2006, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

I just read an article about some college kids creating a device which fits into a backpack that can intercept the code on keyfobs people use to pay for gasoline. Like, the quickpass. They even put it to use! Within minutes of walking pass someone at a gas station that was using it to pay for fuel, the college kids went down the road and bought a tank of gas with it.

They then reported what they found to the gas company (I just don't remember which company!) the company didn't do a thing about it. Their estimated users are in the hundred thousands, and I guess they're thinking it's too costly to replace all those keyfobs since the college kids are just one instance of this being done.

If I can find the article again, I'll post it.
Old 05-13-2006, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 521
Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

Are you kidding! It apparently took the theives a very long time to do this.The 20 minutes they referred to was just how long the cars internal security "might" slow things down if it detected something wrong.
Just a laptop would be useless. You would need a laptop that could send at a certain frequency. They could get an idea of the frequency by getting a key fob, or getting very close to someone when entering the keyfob.
After they have the correct frequency, they still have to send a HUGE numbers of potential codes to the car so it will unlock and work. Anyway along there the car might "get wise" that it is being plundered, and then lock out for the 20 minutes.
I can think of a much easier way to steal a car.Gun in face-give me you car, and key or key fob!!
I though the keyless entry was just a gimmick until I walked up to the car with a heavy load in my arms. It is easy enough to open a door with your hands full, but not so easy to pull a key out of your pocket, and get it in the lock with your hands full.Luck,Charlie
PS-The Prius keyless entry fob has an actual key in it, and it will work with a dead battery-no problem.
Old 05-14-2006, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frisco, Tx
Posts: 253
Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

Biometrics won't stop auto theft either and might make it easier. Fingerprints can be stolen from a drink can or lifted from a door handle. Gouged out eyeballs are right behind (The Minority Report?).
Old 08-27-2015, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 2
Default Re: Using laptops to steal keyless entry cars

On Star, by GM will cure the problem.
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