How to Protect Your Car from Getting Attacked with a Key Fob?

With an incredible advancement in the field of technology, every organization is trying its level best to provide best security measures to its customers.

Take car manufacturers for instance. Major car manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW are installing top-notch security features in their cars to prevent them getting stolen.

Though it might seem implausible for someone getting hands on your brand-new fancy car, it is not entirely impossible.

In a recently published video, which has been posted below, we can clearly see two criminals stealing the Mercedes-Benz somewhere in the UK with the help of a key fob. They’ve used the same wireless key fob which is otherwise used to unlock and start your car. By using the same key fob, someone can get hands on your shiny vehicle and take it away from you within a minute.

What’s the Relay (Key Fob) Attack?

Basically, the method of using a key fob to steal a car is known as a relay attack. Though this method has been observed previously and is not a new threat, it has still managed to put the car owners in worry after they’ve watched the filmed theft scene.

So how did the criminals actually go about their plan in stealing the car with the key fob? Let’s have an analysis of what they would have probably done.

As seen in the video, the two bandits roll up to a porch outside someone’s house and pace around the parked car with two electronic devices cradled in their hands. While the exact devices used by the criminals are unclear but the method they’ve used is well understood.

One of the thieves stays near the car while the other goes ahead and stands near the garage door. He searches for a signal and relays it from a wireless key fob placed somewhere inside the victim’s house. The same signal is sent to the second device, which is held by the other thief standing near the car. The car is tricked into thinking the key fob is present somewhere near, as a result, it unlocks and eventually gets started. One of the thieves gets inside the car and two of them take off from the scene after accomplishing their mission.

You would be surprised to know that these devices have been spotted for sale online. Therefore, it would be wrong to assume that someone went through a great deal and some mechanical wizard to build one from the scratch.

The key point here is, these devices work only on cars that have a keyless ignition system. This system allows the driver to start the car simply with a push button after the vehicle detects a key snob is present somewhere near it. The relay attack would not work on cars that do not have a keyless ignition system, meaning that cars relying on keys to unlock them cannot be stolen with this method.

This car-jacking technique may be worrisome for the car owners as it can be pulled off really easily by the ones owning those devices. However, the same method can also be fought against the devices. You can still stop someone from attacking your car with a key snob. All you need to do is take a little bit of precaution and you can sleep without worrying about your fancy vehicle parked outside on the porch.

How to Protect Your Car from the Key Fob Attack

Preventing your car from getting attacked with a key snob is pretty simple.

The key fob present inside your house must be covered in a Faraday sleeve – a pouch specifically designed to block all the radio transmissions. Once your key fob is protected inside this pouch, it would not be able to relay the signal to any other device, hence there will be no risk of a key snob attack. The Faraday sleeve can be bought online but you need to do a bit of research before opting for one as some of them work really better than the rest.

Silent Pocket Faraday Cage, Faraday Wallets and Faraday Bags

Keeping your keys packed inside a Faraday sleeve would save your car from getting stolen. You can do this at night and even during daytime. If you have the habit of keeping your car keys in your pocket during the daytime, then adding a second layer of Faraday sleeve would be even better. When it comes to protecting your fancy new vehicle, we are sure you wouldn’t mind spending another $100 on it.


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