AA President tells how high-tech hackers got to steal his wife’s car

The president of the AA has told how he keeps his keyless car fob inside a metal box in his microwave oven, after hackers stole his wife’s Lexus.

Edmund King told the Telegraph the lengths he has gone to to prevent thieves intercepting the key’s signal and stealing his car by placing it in a Faraday pouch – a leather bag with wire mesh lining – inside a metal box. It is then placed inside the microwave at the back of the house, away from the road.

It’s because a crime gang made off with his wife Deirdre’s £50,000 Lexus by, he thinks, by using kits bought off the internet to “relay” signals from unprotected keys inside people’s houses to unlock the vehicle.

One of the thieves with an amplifier stands by the property to pick up the fob’s signal. It is then relayed to a second gang member with a transmitter by the car, making the vehicle’s sensors think the key is nearby and the doors can safely be opened.

“We think they… used their computer device to unlock the car and remove it with no smashing into the car or anything,” said Mr King. “We didn’t notice it until the next morning, by which time it was probably in a container with its plates changed on its way out of the country.”

Mr King urged manufacturers and retailers to alert motorists to the risks at point of sale and explain that, if they wish, the technology can be disabled to allow traditional methods of entry.

“It shows that even if you take precautions the criminals will still try to get round it,” Mr King told Highways News, adding to the Telegraph, “Are we that lazy that we cannot press a button on a key fob or turn a key if it protects us?” he said, adding that he’s now fitted an old-fashioned steering lock to further deter thieves saying it was  “ironic that we are going back to the 1970s,” however “Sometimes basic restraints do work.”

(Picture – LinkedIn)


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