How a thief can steal your Prius or any keyless entry vehicle

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1690/keyless-entry-systems-vulnerable-to-high-tech-car-thieves /
Keyless entry systems vulnerable to high-tech car thieves
Swiss researchers find holes in the keyless systems from eight car manufacturers.
By Colin Bird
Remote keyless entry has been around for a while – since the late 1980s, in fact – and today it’s almost standard on all new cars. But the pervasiveness of this feature is not without consequence. As researchers in Switzerland point out, the technology can make vehicle theft a breeze for a savvy thief.
Remote keyless-entry systems use radio waves that typically are specific to a manufacturer, and the signals are usually encrypted. When your vehicle’s key fob is within 20 feet of the car, you’re allowed to transmit a signal to unlock the doors, pop the trunk, remote start your car (when equipped) or activate the car alarm.
Researchers at ETH Zurich discovered that these encrypted signals are easy to intercept and trick.
Keyless entry systems are vulnerable to car thieves. The theft works by setting up two antennas, one near the targeted vehicle and one near the holder of the key fob — be it in a purse, bag or pocket. This equipment can usually be purchased for $100 to $1,000. The person with the antenna aimed at the owner of the key fob needs to get within 26 feet of the target. In a store, this could be a few aisles away, so as to not arouse suspicion.
Once the antenna is near the intended victim’s key fob, the key transmits a low-power signal to the antenna, which is then relayed to the antenna near the vehicle. Once that occurs, the thief can unlock the doors and drive away (if the vehicle has push-button start).
The Swiss researchers hacked into eight car manufacturers’ passive-entry systems using this method. No cryptology or protocol could stop it.
While this system may seem fairly complicated, it could catch on with car thieves because of the cost of the equipment and anonymity. However, the hack cannot start the cars with traditional keys. Today’s ignition systems are increasingly complicated and secure. That’s one reason why car thefts are largely on the decline in the U.S.
David Wagner, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley, said there are probably easier way to steal cars, but the “nasty aspect of high-tech car theft” is that it doesn’t leave any sign of forced entry. That could lead to problems with police and insurance companies in tracking down the criminals or with filing claims.
Right now, the only way to protect yourself is by either shielding your key fob’s radio with a guard or leaving your key fob at home. Srdjan Capkun, an assistant professor at ETH Zurich, says the institute is working on a way to prevent this sort of theft.
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On Jan 21, 10:41 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cheese.com wrote:

So let's see how it worked out in 2010:
http://instantquotewizard.com/auto/top-10-most-stolen-cars-2010
". . . The list of the top 10 most stolen cars in 2010 may not be that different than you’ve seen in the past, and that’s because much doesn’t change. Thieves like these cars because of their resale value on the “black market” and the valuable parts that can be stripped and sold from these vehicles. That said, the list for 2010 includes…
Honda Accord/Honda Civic Toyota Camry Ford F-150 Dodge Ram C/K 1500 Dodge Caravan Toyota Corolla Nissan Sentra Acura Integra Jeep Cherokee . . ."
Son,
How the thieve steals a car is less important than the value of the individual parts. Thankfully, the hybrid skeptics have declared the Prius valuable parts as 'worthless' and that gives an anti-theft halo. Please come back when you have something less silly to post. <GRINS>
Bob Wilson
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You're definitely onto something, Bob. I've driven my Prius for work and have parked (including overnight although in that case on hotel properties) in places like South Philly, Baltimore and N.E. Washington, DC. As well as any other type of location up and down the East Coast. Not a single theft incident. No incidents at all, come to think of it - the only one I had in a Prius was when I got rear-ended in a quietest suburb.
So, year, the "anti-theft halo" is definitely a real phenomenon and in many cases I would even characterize it as "invisibility cloak" . I'm surprised drug dealers don't use Priuses more often. Doesn't help with street cred but definitely helps to repel cops. Well, maybe they do - who knows?
##-----------------------------------------------## Web access courtesy http://fuelzilla.com http://fuelzilla.com/groups / Environmentally Friendly Driving Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - alt.autos.toyota.prius - 7693 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
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On 1/27/2011 2:30 PM, DA wrote:

Is this phenomenon reflected in auto theft insurance rates?
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responding to http://fuelzilla.com/groups/prius/How-a-thief-can-steal-your-Prius-or-any-keyless-entry-vehicl-9215-.htm DA wrote:
News wrote:

I don't know. It may actually be figured in there somewhere. My guess is that the theft portion of the premium is so small compared to liabilities and collision coverage that small savings in it would be nothing to get excited about.
--





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responding to http://fuelzilla.com/groups/prius/How-a-thief-can-steal-your-Prius-or-any-keyless-entry-vehicl-9215-.htm DA wrote:
News wrote:

I don't know. It may actually be figured in there somewhere. My guess is that the theft portion of the premium is so small compared to liabilities and collision coverage that small savings in it would be nothing to get excited about.
--





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