Having the ignition key in your pocket or bag is easy, convenient and comfortable, with numerous automakers offering the option to sense your approach or let you use a button to lock and unlock the vehicle.
But it turns out the new convenience feature has a major vulnerability, with devices popping out all over the Internet that advertise the ability to exploit the security weakness and allow criminals to gain access to the vehicle. The British police is already warning that “mystery devices” can be used to open the hands-free equipped cars and allow access to the interior, with the thief either stealing what’s inside or worse, have the ability to connect a device to the vehicle’s diagnostic port in order to gain access to the needed information to create a replica of the key and steal the vehicle. Numerous discussions and suggestions have been issued over the techniques used, with the most common instance being the following: usually the key needs to be in close proximity of the car to signal the lock/unlock procedure. The criminals simply use a signal booster, which tricks the car into thinking its owner is near it.
Before manufacturers take the appropriate steps, here’s an easy solution. Wrap your car fob in aluminum foil (prevents the signal from passing) and simply open it a little when close to the car. Or, use a more stylish approach – the “Faraday Bag” that can be found on Amazon, for example. Don’t use stupid ideas, though – such as putting the key fob in the freezer or microwave oven.