Hackers Can Use Smart Keys To Steal Cars!

Modern smart keys use radio frequencies to let drivers unlock and start a vehicle without fumbling with a key fob. Now European researchers have found such systems can be hacked, letting thieves easily steal your car.

While many of the hacks require access to the car’s diagnostic port, one team was able to wirelessly set off faults through tire pressure sensors.

The research by the team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology targeted a new weakness; the smart key fobs common on luxury vehicles and spreading to mainstream models that allow a driver to unlock doors and start a vehicle without touching the fob. Using radio signals, the fob and vehicle send encrypted signals to each other over short distances, and while other researchers had suggested the fobs could be vulnerable, no one had put the idea to a test.  The research paper is here: http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/332.pdf

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