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Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

Posted May 30, 2014 7:43 AM by Jordan Perch

The advances that have been made in the automotive technology in the past decades have been pretty amazing, and today's vehicles are more efficient, reliable, and safer than ever. With that in mind, it's only natural to think that modern vehicles are tougher to break into, but as they become more high-tech, car thieves are following suit in an effort to make sure they don't get put out of business. Lately, an increased use of sophisticated gadgets by car thieves has been noticed, which allows them to break into cars much more easily and get away with it.

Car thieves in the United States, as well as the UK, have started using a piece of equipment that allows them to intercept and recreate the signals from key fobs, so that they can unlock a car's doors remotely and access its on-board computer. This way, they can take control of the car's alarm system, disable it, get into the car and drive away or steal some valuable items that they find inside, leaving no trace behind them. Since they don't have to touch a car's doors or windows to unlock it, they don't leave any fingerprints, which makes it difficult to track them down.

Considering how efficient it is, it seems that the equipment thieves use must be pretty expensive, but it's actually quite cheap and easy to obtain. Criminals buy these gadgets online, and they only cost a few bucks. Even though it's obviously a relatively simple piece of equipment, it is clearly sophisticated enough to allow thieves to break into the most high-tech cars out there. Virtually all new vehicles are vulnerable to attacks performed with this hacking equipment, and for now, there seems to be no solution to this problem.

Law enforcement has been unable to prevent these burglaries, and the only help they have offered car owners is advising them to avoid leaving valuable items in their vehicles when they are parked. Another issue for the victims of these crimes is that many of them don't even know whether the thieves have unlocked their cars' doors using some sort of device, or they left their vehicles unlocked, blaming themselves for not being careful enough and giving thieves the opportunity to burglarize their vehicles without breaking a sweat.

However, even though the methods that car thieves employ are becoming more sophisticated, which should suggest that they should be able to steal more cars, but statistics show that that car theft has actually been on the decline lately. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, in 2012, a total of 720,000 motor vehicles were reported to be stolen in the U.S., which is a decrease of 24.8% compared to 2008, and 42.8% compared to 2003. But, only 12 percent of thefts were cleared in 2012.

According to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the top stolen vehicle in the U.S. in 2012 was Honda Accord, followed by Honda Civic. When it comes to the areas with the highest auto theft rates, most of them were in California, with the Modesto metro area at first place, followed by Fresno and Bakersfield.

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#1

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/30/2014 9:02 AM

"Modern systems implement encryption to prevent car thieves from intercepting and spoofing the signal."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_keyless_system

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/lockcode.asp

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Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/30/2014 12:21 PM

This story makes the email rounds now and then.

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#3

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/30/2014 11:07 PM

There had to be a silver lining to owning a Cavalier!

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Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/31/2014 11:29 AM

Yes - the silver lining. Actually I was thinking of upgrading to keyless entry for my 'ride':

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#4

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/31/2014 1:42 AM

The title and some content in this blog seem more concerned about grabbing your attention, than accurately portraying reality.

.

"...Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets ..."

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"...Law enforcement has been unable to prevent these burglaries, and the only help they have offered car owners is advising them to avoid leaving valuable items in their vehicles when they are parked....."

.

There is no need to look further than one of the article sited by this piece that puts that first claim...the one in the title of this blog, into question:

"....there have been no reported cases of these companies' cars actually being hacked, other than the demonstration of the hack...."

.

In light of that, the second sentence, quoted in bold above, isn't necessarily false, just very misleading. It would be hard to prevent burglaries that weren't actually happening.... or offer much advice to people about how to avoid nonexistent crimes, for that matter.

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Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

06/04/2014 7:49 AM

I actually wish there was some truth to it. Then maybe I could convince my wife and kids to clean out their cars and stop storing stuff in them!

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Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

06/04/2014 10:59 AM

Be the change you want to see in the world! Become the e-thief that hacks into ... or uses the key but leaves clues suggesting it was a hack job... the cars of your wife and kids...and clean them out!

.

Much like the double double entendre you might kill two birds with one stone more than once.

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#6

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/31/2014 9:15 PM

They wouldn't have gotten very far with my 1942 Dodge School Bus. It was difficult to start and seemed to work best when I used a hand crank like on an old Model T. It used to mess with people's minds when I would walk around to the front of the bus and insert this crank and start reefing away. This was in the sixties and seventies. I didn't mind. It worked.

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Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

05/31/2014 11:48 PM

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Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

06/01/2014 12:43 AM

Furthur?

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#11

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

06/05/2014 7:09 AM

There's always this gadget!

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#12

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

06/05/2014 5:46 PM

I had a car where the steering wheel wasn't bolted on. I could lift it off and take it with me. When we were out cruising I would take the wheel off and pass it around to the passengers like a Laurel and Hardy routine and place it back on when the light turned green.

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#13

Re: Car Thieves Using High-Tech Gadgets to Break Into Vehicles

06/05/2014 6:42 PM

Remember the James Bond movie where Pierce Brosnan is controlling the car by by remote? What if we let the thief enter the car and then take him for a joyride until the car is stopped for speeding/reckless driving and let him explain to the police what just happened.

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