Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hi Tech car thieves

Savvy car thieves harnessing new technology ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

I've wondered sometimes about whether, with the right electronics, modern cars can still be stolen.  Seems the answer is "yes":
Even models that utilize electronic keys can be stolen by use of a
so-called key programmer, which can be easily made by modifying easily
available materials.

Earlier this year, police in Ibaraki Prefecture arrested a gang of
car thieves using such a device, which is small enough to fit in the
palm of one’s hand.

“A modified key programmer is used to enter the car’s internal
computer, and then rewrite the program, making it possible to start the
engine,” a police investigator was quoted as saying. “In the past this
required 30 minutes or longer to accomplish, but the newer types can do
it in about 10 minutes. The thieves are able to obtain key programmers
made in China for around 100,000 yen.”

The modified key programmers are unable to open a car’s door, and up
to now the thieves had to break a window to get access to the vehicle’s
interior. More recently, however, new techniques for popping open care
doors have become widespread.

“Using the technique of ‘dempa-jack’ (electronic hijacking), they can
release the door locks from a distance,” a staff member of Protector, a
firm that specializes in car security, tells the tabloid. “They do this
by intercepting electronic signals emitted by the car and copying them,
then transmitting them back. This method is common overseas and
recently has started to be used in Japan.”

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