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There has been a massive spike in the vehicle theft numbers in 2017. Authorities believe the increase is related to the latest trend in crime: keyless car theft. Compared to over 600.000 vehicles that were stolen in 1992 in the UK, only 56.000 cars were stolen in 2016 which shows how successful third-party security systems have become. However, the number of stolen cars has increased to 89.000 in 2017 with a staggering 56% increase. Manufacturers have been implementing onboard security systems to the cars rendering them harder to steal but the latest crime wave – keyless car theft – revealed that car keys are the weakest link in the car security chain. One of the most worrying facts about the keyless crime wave is that you can be targeted while drinking a coffee downtown or lying on your couch after a tiring day. It goes to show how serious the keyless vehicle theft problem is.
Police officials report that modern vehicles are stolen using a device –relay boxes- that bypasses security systems – without ever needing the keys or smashing the windows. Instead, the tech-savvy thieves use devices called relay boxes that pick up the signal generated by the key fob and relay it to a secondary device next to the vehicle granting the second thief entry. Once inside, thieves can start the car and drive away, and all this process takes less than a minute.
Luxury car owners have every right to be concerned about considering brand new vehicles are rather expensive investments while it’s so easy to steal them. Even teenagers exploit the keyless entry flaw to break into vulnerable cars and steal anything of value by using the relay boxes. Key fobs are supposed to prevent a car engine from turning on without the presence of the key itself transmitting the correct radio frequency. However, scientists testing the relay box were able to intercept the signals sent between the key fob and the vehicle. Thieves use these sophisticated gadgets to trick the car into thinking the key is nearby, allowing them to enter the vehicle.
High-end insurance firms are refusing to cover new Range Rover owners without secure parking in the UK, and it is a direct indication of how severe the keyless theft issue is. The problem has grown rapidly in the last year that forced the car owners to find alternative ways to prevent their vehicles from being stolen. Car owners aren’t totally helpless in this situation though. First order of business is to stop the hackers from acquiring the signal from the key fob inside the house. Faraday cages – a pouch or a box that blocks the radio signals emitted by the car key preventing the thieves to detect and amplify the signal- are the first line of defence against the carjackers. There are other defensive measures on the market that are considered old-fashioned such as car alarms and wheel locks that can be used to bolster a vehicle’s security.
Vehicle GPS trackers can provide the ultimate security against car theft with state-of-the-art features such as geofence zones, sensors, and real-time location tracking.
Some people may wonder how a vehicle tracker succeeds in protecting their vehicle when the latest built-in technologies that are already integrated into their car fail. Thousands of vehicles are stolen right out of people’s driveways and garages every night. Keyless crime is no different, and criminals target and attempt to steal vehicles with keyless entry systems when they are most vulnerable; parked for the night with no supervision.
Geofence zones are the ultimate tool against keyless entry hacks, geo-fences are virtual perimeters that can be drawn on any location on the map using the GPS tracking software associated with the tracker. Vehicle owners can place boundaries around their garages, driveways or company parking lots. The tracking device sends an instant alarm to the owner every time it enters or leaves one of the preset zones informing the owner of any unusual movements. Vehicle owners can sleep tight knowing their car isn’t going anywhere without their consent. Car trackers are also equipped with sensitive sensors that will notify the owner in case someone tries to move the vehicle or tampers with the locks.
Millions of cars, including high-end brands such as Porche, Mercedes, and Maserati, are at risk of electronic hacking and getting stolen. Keyless car theft is becoming an epidemic across the UK with reports in certain areas tripling the number of regular thefts. Relay boxes may provide criminals with a sophisticated method to bypass vehicle security systems, but car owners can use vehicle tracking devices to stop them in their tracks. Car trackers alert the owners if someone tries to move or breaks into their vehicle let alone drive away with it. With advanced security measures such as movement alert, shock sensor, and geofence zones in place, even the most accomplished thief will fail.
In the unlikely event that someone manages to get away with the vehicle, the owners can locate it within seconds by using an app on their smartphone. The rest lies in the hands of the police officers to recover the car from the location identified by the APP. While offering the most effective safeguards, vehicle trackers also guarantee the safe return of a car should the worst happen and that is what makes them the best security system on the market. Keyless theft may be a massive threat to modern vehicles, but with a Faraday cage and a car tracking device to improve security against keyless car theft, owners can rest assured knowing that hackers have absolutely no way of accessing the onboard computer systems and escape with their vehicle.