Hackers are responsible for one in three car thefts, the home secretary, Theresa May, will reveal today.
Newer cars rely on computer systems to secure their vehicles, and the car cannot usually be accessed without the electronic key. However, thieves are becoming more sophisticated, meaning police are facing all-new challenges, reports theguardian.com. Mrs May will explain exactly how thieves are able to break in and steal people's cars.
"Car thieves might break into a car and programme a new electronic key," the text of her speech, which has been released in advance, says. "They might use sophisticated devices to 'grab' the security coding when the owner uses the key so they can use it themselves.
"And there have been reports that they would even use malware to commandeer vehicle systems via satellites and issue remote demands to unlock doors, disable alarms and start car engines."
Police believe that tens of thousands of vehicles are stolen every year by hackers. Some thefts can take a mere ten seconds and leave the car completely intact, reports dailymail.co.uk. The gadget these thieves are thought to have been originally designed for locksmiths who need to gain access to vehicles.
The Metropolitan Police advises motorists to attach tracking devices onto their cars; they should also leave their car somewhere well-lit and use steering, pedal and gear shift locks.