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Over the past 7 years we have seen millions of high end cars across the UK stolen through key cloning theft. It all started with BMW mysteriously disappearing off owners driveways at 2am. Fast forward a few years and its now uncommon for our morning Facebook news feeds to be filled with the nights cars stolen in our area. we are now seeing huge numbers of Ford, Audi, Land Rover and Mercedes hit by the threat. Worst hit areas in the UK are London, greater Manchester, Essex, Midlands and Liverpool.
If you own an Audi and your on an Audi forum, you’ve probably heard of the increase in break-ins of Aud RS vehicles over the past few months. The thief’s have now found a way to disable the factory alarm system. The main car at present under attack is the RS4. after smashing the window the roof lining is pulled down to disable the internal sensors of the oem alarm system.They are then free to work on the car with no interruptions.
If you own an Audi and your on an Audi forum, you’ve probably heard of the increase in break-ins of Aud RS vehicles over the past few months. The thief’s have now found a way to disable the factory alarm system. The main car at present under attack is the RS4. after smashing the window the roof lining is pulled down to disable the internal sensors of the oem alarm system.
They are then free to work on the car with no interruptions.
On the RS models there main goal is to steal the bucket seats and any other RS extra such as the steering wheel and gear know all worth £ in the aftermarket upgrade world. The bucket seats are unbolted and pulled through the smash side window in no time at all. These seats are priced at anything up to £5k each by Audi dealerships. This normally leads to their insurance company writing the car off. The damaged caused by the seats being stolen and pulled through is extensive. Most of the internal panels are badly broken and scratched leaving these cars in a really bad state. We visited one garage to fit an alarm to a customers car reported 10 attacks the same way to the same vehicles over a period of a few months. Unfortunately this is what we started to see with BMW theft. First they targeted items inside the car, before long the cars were simply disappearing of the owners drive way. At first it deemed impossible for the immobiliser to be cracked. Before long owners home CCTV showed the theft simply smashing the window, plugging a key cloning device into the OBD port and simply unlocking the car and driving away all in under 30 seconds. Over the past 8 months, we at Secure My Car have been working closely with a number of Audi RS owners who have had their cars broken into, stolen or are victum of the bucket seat theft. There are a number of security risks with these cars. At the moment, gangs are operating mostly in and around London, Essex, Northampton and Birmigham areas with hundreds of Audi RS seats are being targeted every month.
Click on the picture above for the full report
NEW - 2014 Audi RS4 stolen of owners drive in seconds
We have spent years researching how these thieves are taking our cars. We have watched hours of CCTV footage made available to us by not only our customers but also by working closely with the police in all major cities. This has helped us research exactly how each vehicle was stolen. We have also been featured in major newspapers and magazines reporting on the theft of motor vehicles. From all our research we have designed and developed new devices which controlled by our pandora alarm systems help keep your car on your driveway. Unlike other companies, we don't just pull an alarm out of the box and fit it straight on too your vehicle! In the world we live in, this won't give you much extra security. Only a loud noisy siren coming from your car. It's the extra security features we have designed in house and tit to our packages, that keeps your car on the drive where you left it!!
So how are they stealing your car so quickly and why aren't the manufacturers doing anything about it?
Firstly, OBD port key cloning.
So, What is the OBD port and what does it do? OBD (on-board diagnostics) is fitted to all vehicles from 2001. The connector, gives vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle BCMs and ECUs which control your cars electrics. If your car develops a fault, or needs programming, a complex computer is plugged into the port. You may have a simple OBD reader yourself, such as CarMD, Innova or Carly. Independent Car garages and main dealerships generally have expensive programmers worth thousands of pounds. But a cheap OBD key reader can be purchased off the net from sites like ebay for less than a hundred pound. These devices are capable of extracting your vehicles immobilisers codes and flash a blank key with your vehicles security codes. The thieves are using theses devices to steal your car.
To gain access to your OBD port, first they need to get to the port, preferably with out the factory alarm activating. This is normally done by either smashing the window with the end of a spark plug, or the drivers door lock is picked using something like a Turbo decoder. On some vehicles such as BMW for example, the drivers door lock can be removed and a screw driver inserted. A small pressure switch can then be accessed, which when pressed will drop the drivers window and reduce the sensitivity of the factory alarms ultra sonic sensors. This then gives a black spot for the thief to work on the OBD port. Once access is gained, a specialist key cloning device is plugged into to your port. With in seconds the immobiliser codes are extracted from the car. Depending on the device used, a blank key can be flashed with your car's immobiliser and alarm codes right there and then literally in seconds, the car can then simply be unlocked by pressing the disarm button on the newly programmed remote, car started and simply driven away. In some cases we have seen cars which have been broken in to but are left by the thief. In this case generally the codes are extracted and taken away to be used later to make a new key. A few days later they will return to collect your car!
How Does our security packages protect your car agains key cloning theft? Extra Security we offer in our upgrade packages to keep your car on your driveway
With the latest key cloning threat we have specially designed an OBD port immobiliser which we include in all our pandora upgrade packages. When the alarm system is armed, the obd port is physically immobilised. The only way to open the port for communication is by using the super encrypted Pandora remote. This makes it almost impossible to program a key to your car when the alarm is installed.
Specially designed Engine immobiliser.
We have specially designed and developed a new type of engine immobiliser. Specifically designed for push button start vehicles and controlled by our Pandora alarm packages. Once armed, the immobiliser stops your car from starting. Even if you have the cars OEM Key fob present, you still wont be able to start the car. This takes care of any unauthorised key cloning whilst your car is left with a third party car cleaner or garage. If a key is programmed they still wont be able to start the car.
So why aren't the vehicle manufacturers coding the OBD port to stop this from happening. Well the simple answer is, legally they aren't aloud too. A law was put in place a few years ago ironically to protect us, the car owner. This was put into place to stop forcing the car buyer back to them for service and warranty work and charging ridiculous prices to keep your car going. The block exception regulation was first put in place in 2010. The BER (Block Exemption Regulation) stated that the manufacturers could not code the OBD port allowing other independent garages access to work on your car at a fraction of the cost without voiding your manufacturers warranty. This opened up the industry making/protecting millions of jobs across the globe. Not many owners know this, but You could also use like for like parts such as a Bosch oil filter, spark plugs etc instead of the manufactures own parts. The only problem is now anyone can gain access to your cars main computers. Which as we have seen over the past 7 years, has seen millions of cars stolen across the globe.
A new threat! - RollJam
7 years on and now with more and more vehicle owners educated in key cloning theft, most new cars are now fitted with some sort of aftermarket alarm system or OBD port relocation/security device. So has the thefts slowed down or stopped? No way! The thief have found a new way to take your. At, but this time wirelessly, with out even entering the car! It's called, Key scanning!
What is RollJam?
With most OEM factory car keys featuring keyless start/entry, the biggest security threat for vehicle owners now is key scanning. A thief will visit your house armed with a black box or laptop. They will then scan for your car keys code. Now most new car keys wirelessly emit not only the alarm codes to your car, but also the immobiliser codes to start your car. These keys can work up to 5meters from your car. Once the signal is grabbed it is amplified and sent over to a receiver box, where the code is stored. The second thief then simply stand by your car with the box as if he has the key in his hand. The signal is then transmitted from your car key(even when the key is securely sat inside your house) to the box, allowing the 2nd thief to simply open and start your car. This threat is happening with all new Ford, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Land Rover models, fitted with proximity keyless entry/start. This can also be done whilst you are walking around the shops with the car key in your pocket. The thief only needs to walk past you to steal the coders.
But it's not only the proximity key which is effected. This same equipment can also grab the code when you press the unlock button on your remote to unlock your car.
My car or aftermarket alarm has rolling code technology so is it protected? The answer is unfortunately not. The thieves have found a way past this too. A well known hacker in the United States called Sammy kamkar and demonstrated at Def Con (Conference for Hackers). He uses a side line attack.
Sammy is campaigning for all car manufacturers and aftermarket car alarm companies to upgrade the security in their key fobs. He has designed a device which is being used by the thieves to simply catch your factory remotes or aftermarket alarms key codes and stores them for use by the thief.
How does Key scanning work?
The next time you press your wireless key fob to unlock your car weather it be the factory remote, or an aftermarket alarm, if you find that it doesn’t beep until the second try, the issue may not be a technical glitch. Instead, a hacker like Samy Kamkar may be using a clever radio hack to intercept and record your wireless key’s command. And when that hacker walks up to your vehicle a few minutes, hours, or days later, it won’t even take those two button presses to get inside. The $32 radio device named RollJam, smaller than a mobile phone, is designed to defeat the “rolling codes” security used in not only most modern cars and vans keyless entry systems, but also in most aftermarket alarm systems and in modern garage door openers. The technique, long understood but easier than ever to pull off with Kamkar’s attack, lets an intruder break into cars without a trace, turn off their alarms and effortlessly access garages.
RollJam, as Kamkar describes it, is meant to be hidden on or near a target vehicle or garage, where it lies in wait for an unsuspecting victim to use his or her key fob within radio range. The victim will notice only that his or her key fob doesn’t work on the first try. But after a second, successful button press locks or unlocks a car or garage door, the RollJam attacker can return at any time to retrieve the device, press a small button on it, and replay an intercepted code from the victim’s fob to open that car or garage again at will. “Every garage that has a wireless remote, and virtually every car that has a wireless key (including aftermarket alarms from many big names) can be broken into,” says Kamkar.
How does rolling Code key scanning work?
When you first press the remote the signal to unlock the car is grabbed and stored by RollJam. We'll call this code A. But all you see is your car didn't respond. Your next reaction is to then press the button on the remote again. We'll call this code B. RollJam then grabs this code and stores this too, but in a split second also sends the first code A to the car. Your car receives code A which locks unlocks the car and Code A expires and can never be used again. But Code B is still stored in the device and can be used at any time by the thief to unlock and deactivate your alarm system and unlock your car, weather this be now, or hours/days later. The chip used in these games Tory remotes or after market alarm systems our keyloq too. Generally with only a 40-60 bit encryption. The problem with keyloq is it's very dated now and although the roll the code each time, the code never expires.
How does Pandora Car Alarms Protect against key Scanning?
Pandora uses A new type of rolling code and is the only company using this technology in aftermarket alarm system. Firstly the Pro (Pandora's flagship alarm system) comes with a full U.K legal 856mhz 2-Way LCD pager remote, which keeps you in contact with your vehicle anywhere up to a mile from the vehicle. All remotes feature Pandoras KeyLoq2 encryption, proven to be un-crackable. Pandora engineers state it will be almost 20 years before the technology exist, capable of cracking the remotes encryption. This technology has never been cracked before. With between 128 and 256bit encryption (that's billions of Code possibilities) but most importantly expiring codes! Its proven to be impossible to grab the codes from these remotes, making these Pandora systems the securest option for your vehicle.
Why choose our pandora package over any other after market alarm?
Pandora secures against everything! Weather it's OBD port theft and key cloning. A specially designed second secure immobiliser designed for push button start vehicles. But most importantly! Uncrackable remotes with up to 256bit encryption. Are packages also offer the option to upgrade to AntiHijack immobiliser tags. This protects the owner against key theft as well as being dragged out of the car at the traffic lights.
Why choose anything else?