what risks are hidden with Keyless Go

What dangers lurk with Keyless Go

Keyless Go, opening the car door with radio signal, is a practical thing. Unfortunately, many car crackers know this as well. Therefore, this technique also carries traps.

Bag in left hand, cellphone or packed bag in right. Ideal if the car is then equipped with Keyless Go. As soon as you leave or approach, the doors close or open with a radio signal. So far, so practical. However, unfortunately, this technology is also used by criminals to gain access to valuables stored in the vehicle or to steal the entire car. “To steal vehicles with Keyless Go technology, there is no need to hack data or use complicated decryption techniques,” says Constantin Hack. Enough of the so-called beam extender, which you can do quickly with a sufficiently criminal machine. “The radio signal is then amplified in such a way that it claims to the car that the key is close and can then unlock the doors,” says the road safety and technology editor at Auto Club Europa (ACE).

Problem: Vehicle owners usually do not even notice what is happening to them. “As an average consumer, you do not even notice data theft, it is enough for someone to pass by you to catch the data on your key,” says Peter Holmstoel. Criminals have long specialized in keyless movements and not only have the knowledge but also the technology needed to open and steal a vehicle unnoticed, says the security expert at the German Insurance Association (GDV).

But you are not at the mercy of thieves. These are almost simple measures that already offer a certain degree of security. “It’s better to park the car overnight in a single garage that closes,” Hack advises, knowing full well that not everyone has that option. “But it also helps to park the car where it can always be seen, ideally under a street lamp, for example,” says Holmstoel. “The authors do not like the lighting and consequently the visibility.” In addition, it is important to make sure that the vehicle emits the correct optical and / or acoustic signal when you turn it on. “If the vehicle falls and / or pulsates, you can be sure that no technology has been used to prevent contact between the key and the vehicle,” says the expert.

These are the principles. But of course much more can be done to capture the criminal energy from the beginning. “It is advisable to keep the remote control key separately. “Special storage boxes are suitable for this,” says Hack. “This way, the signal from the key can no longer be diverted, for example if the perpetrator passes near you in a parking lot.” However, since this signal is also strong enough to penetrate doors or even walls, radio keys should not be used indoors. Keep away from outside doors and windows. “The perpetrators also run down the stairs of apartment buildings and try to catch the signals on the doors of apartments,” says Holmstoel. Therefore, the typical key box near the door is not the right storage place.

Of course you can also use your technology against the technology of thieves. “Alarm systems and immobilizers that need to be deactivated by a small additional transmitter make theft more difficult,” says Hack. Signals from these additional devices are usually transmitted at a different frequency, and it would still be very costly for thieves to overcome this. “Neither” because thieves also improve when technology evolves. Both experts agree: there is no such thing as 100 percent protection. At least not if you do not want to do without this convenient technology. The safest way to prevent misuse is to not use Keyless Go at all.

“The radio keys still have a classic metal key,” Hack recalls the traditional way of opening a door. And if you want to be on the safe side, it’s better to use the steering wheel claws: “Just looking at them usually deters potential thieves.”

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