How to Protect Your Car from Technological Advances in Car Theft


Car theft has always been a problem, but recent technological advances have made it easier for criminals to steal cars. In this post, we will explore how technology is contributing to car theft and offer practical tips for protecting your vehicle.

The Relay Attack and Car Theft

One method that has become popular in recent years is the relay attack. This method involves thieves using a device to amplify the signal of a car's key fob and unlock the vehicle without physical access to the key. Additionally, some thieves are able to program a new key using a laptop, giving them complete access to the car.

What is a Relay Attack?

A relay attack is when criminals steal a car by amplifying the signal from the car's key fob using a device and then using that amplified signal to unlock and start the vehicle.

How do Thieves Use a Relay Attack to Steal Cars?

Thieves typically work in pairs, with one thief standing near the vehicle and the other near the owner's house. The thief near the car uses a device to amplify the signal from the key fob, while the other thief holds a similar device near the owner's house to capture the signal from the key fob. This allows the first thief to unlock the car and start it without having the physical key.

Preventing Relay Attacks

Car owners can take several steps to prevent relay attacks, such as:

  • Use a Faraday Cage: A Faraday cage is a particular container that blocks electromagnetic fields. You can place your key fob in a Faraday cage to prevent it from being detected by a signal amplifier.
  • Keep your Key Fob in a Metal Box: A metal box will also block electromagnetic signals and can be a simple and effective way to protect your key fob.
  • Be Mindful of Where You Park: If you park your car far away from other vehicles, it can be more difficult for criminals to get close enough to use a signal amplifier.

Key Programming Theft and Car Theft

Thieves can use a laptop and special software to program a new key for a car. They can obtain the necessary information to program the key from various sources, such as stealing a key from the car owner or purchasing the information online.

Preventing Key Programming Theft

Car owners can take several steps to prevent key programming theft, such as:

  • Keeping their Keys in a Safe Place and not Leaving Them Unattended
  • Using a Physical Lock on the Steering Wheel or Gearshift to Prevent Theft
  • Installing a Car Alarm or Tracking System to Alert the Owner if the Car is Stolen

Using physical locks on the steering wheel or gearshift is an effective way to prevent both types of theft. These locks make it much harder for thieves to drive the car, even if they have a programmed key.

Final Thoughts

Taking these simple precautions can reduce the risk of your car being stolen. It's also worth noting that some car manufacturers are improving the security of their keyless entry and security systems, so it's worth researching before purchasing a new car.

While technology has made car theft easier for thieves, car owners can take several steps to prevent theft and protect their vehicles. By being aware of the risks and taking the necessary precautions, car owners can reduce the likelihood of their cars being stolen. With a combination of physical security measures and technological solutions, car owners can keep their vehicles safe and secure.

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