Car security company Tracker has warned that car thieves have found a clever new way to steal keyless cars from outside their owners’ homes.
Themethod known as ‘relay’ involves a criminal standing near the door of the owner’s home, within range of the car’s key fob, while another device picks up the signal from the key inside the house and sends it to the car. When a succesesful connection is made the crooks can start the car and drive away within seconds.
Tracker’s head of police liason, Andy Barrs, said:
“At Tracker, we are seeing more thefts recorded as ‘stolen without the keys’ which suggests that electronic manipulation and cyber compromise are on the increase
The new relay attack technique has gained significant ground in the US and Germany, but it’s also beginning to take hold in the UK, so vehicle owners need to protect themselves and their assets.”
Researchers have revealed that BMWs and Peugeots are most likely to be targeted using the relay method, but they also managed to unlock other vehicles using the technique.
The BMW 7 Series, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus are the most affected, says Tracker.
Barrs adds: "As relay attacks become even more prevalent, owners need to protect themselves. These tools are readily available on the internet for as little as £80 and thefts typically occur in residential areas, where cars are parked relatively close to the house, especially at night."