If you have ever wondered how millions of cars manage to stay secure with remote keyless entry, the answer is KeeLog, as system developed in the 80s which uses around 18 billion different possibilities to transmit data to your car – making it nearly impossible to hack, until now.
Researchers in Israel and Belgium have finally done it, they have managed to find a way to break into your car in about an hour without even touching it (previously decrypting the keyless entry code would have taken years).
By listening to the wireless conversation between your car and its key, the scientists are able to crack the transmission code and steal the password needed to unlock your car.
Of course criminals still can’t turn the car on and drive away, and the old fashion cricket bat is still far more time efficient, but there are some applications in this for the truly criminally minded.
The research paper, called “How to Steal Cars” is available to download, although exact step by step details have not been published yet, the researchers plan to eventually release the details in a bid to encourage manufacturers to give up on the 20 year old technology.
So how can it be useful to a master criminal? Easy, armed with a master key, a criminal can park a car with listening devices in the middle of a shopping centre car park and eavesdrop on every car as a driver parks, walks away, and pushes their key to lock the doors.
Once the transmission is intercepted and analysed, it can then lead to the criminal opening the doors and taking your iPod and other expensive goodies, without leaving a trace.
“That would be worth someone’s time, victims would have a hard time convincing (their) insurance companies that this had happened.” said Jon Callas, chief technology officer with the encryption firm PGP Corp
Researches are calling for the KeeLog system to be scrapped or updated to reflect the security vulnerabilities.
Don’t panic, if someone really wanted to steal something from your car, there is far more chance of the window being smashed than you keyless entry being hacked… for now.