Keyless cars give thieves a free ride
Date: 18 August 2014
August 2014 – TRACKER, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert is warning car owners of the growing threat of car hackers who are able to break into vehicles and drive them away without the keys. Latest victim, author Kathy Lette, had her BMW stolen when thieves hacked into the car’s electrical ignition system.
Thieves exploiting keyless ignition systems, use a handheld electronic device to circumvent a car’s security system, allowing them to drive it away. Hackers find the car’s access codes to programme a blank key fob, allowing them to take over the computer systems and control the vehicle. Some criminals use ‘jammers’ which stops the car from locking when the driver presses the remote key. This makes it more important than ever for car owners to add extra layers of security protection.
“Car hacking is a growing issue for motorists, especially as the devices that override the ignition system are so freely available on the internet and only cost around £20.” explains Andy Barrs, police liaison officer for TRACKER. “Today’s sophisticated security systems mean thieves have to be smarter than ever and the latest trends show that criminal gangs have found a way to crack keyless cars. A tracking unit can significantly increase the chances of a stolen car being returned to its rightful owner, and TRACKER devices come with a motion sensor that’s triggered even if the engine isn’t started.”
“TRACKER is the only SVR product that is used by all the UK’s police forces, helping police find and return stolen vehicles every day. With 95% of stolen cars fitted with TRACKER returned to their owners and 86% recovered within 24 hours, it could be the difference between a vehicle being found and returned or it being lost for good. The message is clear – protect your vehicle with everything you can, rather than simply relying on the features that come with the vehicle”, concludes Barrs.
Unlike other devices, TRACKER’s unique technology can locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container. TRACKER has been reuniting car owners with their vehicles for over 20 years, and it’s this expertise which makes TRACKER the leader in stolen vehicle recovery.