Subaru Front Emblem

When you hear the phrase 'hacking', what do you imagine? A nerdy '90s character with green text scrolling down his screen? A powerful worldwide cabal with millions at their disposal? In reality, most hackers are simply bored - and nowhere is that more evident than from the freshest discovery of Dutch electronics designer Tom Wimmenhove, revealing that keyless fobs could be used to both hack into and steal automobiles. The latest vehicles are more susceptible than others to this method, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Is My Key Fob Vulnerable to Hackers?

First, it helps to understand how these keyless fobs work - they provide a greater level of convenience by no longer requiring a driver to unlock his door manually, instead producing localized wireless pulses that trigger the car doors and unlock them when the driver approaches. This is helpful if you're in a rush or if you simply don't want to pull out your keys - but it creates a devious and exploitable vulnerability.

Subaru Dash Technology

Used by car thieves as often as by hackers, this vulnerability is exploited through the usage of signal-boosting technology. These signal boosters can be used to expand the size of the keyless fob range, allowing a hacker to point it at a home and freely activate the keyless fob inside, unlocking a driver's vehicle and allowing them to simply climb in and take off.

How Do I Protect My Vehicle?

Of course, there are ways to stop this issue. One of these ways is to simply lock your keyless fob in the fridge if you're not using it - but for drivers who intend to travel to places without fridges, you may want to invest in a Faraday pouch. Michael Faraday was a researcher in electromagnetic energy who devised a method for keeping his research localized - essentially a cage that held electricity and insulated it from the outside world, Faraday's legacy has led to the invention of bags that do the same. These bags are small enough to carry on your person or to keep around the house.

What Other Vehicle Security Considerations Should I Make?


This isn't the only type of car-hacking that's become possible in the last several years - the addition of computerized remote-access systems to many modern vehicles have made them susceptible to brute-force hacking attacks that target the automobile's internal systems, allowing effects as varied as cutting off their brakes or halting the transmission completely. These hacks have rarely been used maliciously and are often remedied by digital patches released by the manufacturers, so keeping your vehicle updated with the newest software is a good way to avoid hacking.

For more information on how to secure your vehicle and to ensure that you get the most for your money, contact us today at Camelback Subaru of Phoenix, AZ.

Categories: Technology, Service

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