posted 2 years ago

High Tech Car Thieves on the increase

Electronic Hacking Equipment

High-end vehicles are becoming more and more sophisticated but in turn so are criminals. It has been reported that half of all car thefts and vehicle break-ins last year in London alone were carried out without the use of force. It seems that criminals are using hi-tech devices to gain access to modern vehicles, the equipment used is easily obtainable and can intercept the signals from key fobs to get into cars or that plug into a car’s on-board computers remotely. 

Sky News has established that the devices can be bought cheaply online, from websites based mainly in Bulgaria. Video tutorials posted online can teach criminals how to gain access to popular models. The problem was first exposed several years ago in certain models,  but now police are warning that all modern makes are potentially vulnerable. Figures reveal that approximately twenty one thousand cars were stolen in the capital last year and a further sixty eight thousand were broken into. 

Sky News reported that recent analysis of crime data suggests that almost half the total number of vehicles stolen in London are taken using this method, which can affect all manufacturers. Some organised criminals have access to technology that avoids the need to physically break in.  Vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced but the criminals are becoming more savvy towards that technology and the chances are they will develop. Modern cars contain about fifty low-powered computers which criminals have learnt to take advantage of to steal vehicles in as little as ten seconds without causing any damage.

Mike Parris, head of the secure car division at SBD security, told Sky News "it is getting worse, the tools are becoming much more readily available. The price of them is falling, and they're operating much more quickly you can re-program a key in a matter of seconds. All vehicle manufacturers are aware of the problem. It's fair to say some are doing more than others. Car manufacturers are acutely aware of the need to constantly make their vehicles more secure because they know criminals will adapt and develop."

However however, recent studies have suggested that while modern cars can be hacked, the chances of it actually happening are relatively slim  especially if it's a question of doing anything other than just getting inside. Car owners are advised to leave their cars in well-lit areas, to consider using steering, gear shift and pedal locks, as well as tracking devices.


Put a sticker in the car telling prospective thieves that "This vehicle is Booby Trapped every other day - fancy your chances scum bag?"

How about a simple pin number system to activate the electronic connection between the car and the battery.

I have an ageing 1997 BMW in which you can set a code or PIN which must be re-entered to start the engine. Does not stop entry by key or FOB but stops theft of car! Seems a much simpler and secure solution than computer codes transmitted from a FOB which can be hacked.

Surely one of the main tasks for the likes of the police would be to try and track down the manufacturers and nip it in the bud. I know they will be made in another Country outside the UK so would make it more difficult.