Remote car locking… HACKED???

Key Lock hacked

Few days ago, I received the following email from the Automobile Association of South India

CAR LOCK – VERY IMPORTANT INFO
 This is important.
Car lock – do it from the door control!!!
How to Lock Your Car and Why.
 I locked my car. As I walked away I heard my car door unlock. I went back and locked my car again three times .. Each time, as soon as I started to walk away, I would hear it unlock again!! Naturally alarmed, I looked around and there were two guys sitting in a car in the fire lane next to the store. They were obviously watching me intently, and there was no doubt they were somehow involved in this very weird situation. I quickly chucked the errand I was on, jumped in my car and sped away. I went straight to the police  station, told them what had happened, and found out I was part of a new, and very successful, scheme being used to gain entry into cars. Two weeks later, my friend’s son had a similar happening….
 While traveling, my friend’s son stopped at a roadside rest to use the bathroom. When he came out to his car less than 4-5 minutes later, someone had gotten into his car and stolen his cell phone, laptop computer, GPS navigator, briefcase……you name it. He called the police and since there were no signs of his car being broken into, the police told him he had been a victim of the latest robbery tactic — there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device..
 They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim.  They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant, or bathroom and that they now have a few minutes to steal and run. The police officer said to manually lock your car door-by hitting the lock button inside the car — that way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for their next victim, it will not be you.
 When you hit the lock button on your car upon exiting, it does not send the security code, but if you walk away and use the door lock on your key chain, it sends the code through the airwaves where it can be instantly stolen.  This is very real.
 Be wisely aware of what you just read and please pass this note on. Look how many times we all lock our doors with our remote just to be  sure we remembered to lock them — and bingo, someone has our code…and whatever was in our car.
 Please share with everyone you know!!  
 Note:  The receiving device is known as a “Spectrum Analyzer” and the signal can be recorded and played back to unlock the car door.  True!

To find the truth in this issue, I just set out a google search and found a few interesting items.

  • First, the technology/encryption being used in all our cars is DAMN old (KeeLoq encryption adopted in the late 90’s).
  • Second, the hacking/security threat has been around for some years now. It seems that the above said hacking is POSSIBLE.. However, not at the rate mentioned above.

If you guys could spare some time for your vehicle security, check that out –

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/08/researchers-cra/

However, since this news is as old as 4/5 years, I hope someone could have refined it to the above mentioned level.

Any thoughts…

– written by Gsk

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