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Fast Company have published a brilliant article on their website explaining how car theft has gone high-tech.  Here is a brief summary of this article for our readers.  Would you believe it but vehicles can contain over 100 computers and these are split into 4 main categories:  those that operate the vehicle’s drive-train (controlling fuel and battery usage, monitoring emissions etc), computers focussed on the safety functions, those related to infotainment and the 4th category is to do with navigation.  Computers in one category often need to communicate with computers in a different category.  All devices in the car trust each other, so if a hacker can gain access to one category then technically they have access to the whole car.  

   

Here is a rundown on some ways thieves can steal cars using today’s technology:

1) Keyless Car Theft – In the early days, thieves used to “listen” in on the the radio signal emitted from the keyfob, make a recording and use this to gain entry to your vehicle.  Car manufacturers have made it more difficult and now these fobs use a one-time code.  However, thieves can build an electronic bridge between your vehicle and the fob which will open the car.

2)  Hacking the CAN bus – if thieves hack this then they can access the computers that control the car’s engine. One way thieves access the CAN bus is via the onboard diagnostics.

3) USB hack – This was made popular by the Kia Boyz on TikTok and sparked a craze to steal Hyundai and Kia cars.  A design flaw in these vehicles allowed thieves to break into the car and locate a slot in the steering column that can fit a USB connector and in turn starts the engine.   

   

There will always be an ongoing battle between car manufacturers developing new safety measures and thieves trying to find work arounds.  With this in mind, it is best to take your vehicle’s security into your own hands and install a steering lock and a GPS tracker.  A Find It Stop It device allows you to track your vehicle if it is taken and also switch off the engine so that it cannot be driven away.  Buy your today for just £59.95