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Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 11, 2018 06:05PM
Apparently 'relay attacks' on keyless auto entry systems are becoming more common. Even two years ago they were rare, judging from this Edmunds article:

[www.edmunds.com]

But this wild Twitter thread by a rental-van company owner, one Sharky Laguana, is alarming (also for the indifference of the CA Bay Area police):

[threadreaderapp.com]

This thread was posted in its entirety by Steve Hayward on the PowerLine Blog:

[www.powerlineblog.com]
WARNING: That is a political blog post, so please refrain from discussing California politics, as I do not want it to get moved to the Dark Side of this Forum.

What I'm interested in here are three questions:

One, is a Faraday Bag to block signals from your wireless key fob the only option? I keep my keys in my pocket, and don't want them in a bag that requires fishing out and opening. Amazon has a bunch, but they all look awkward:

[www.amazon.com]

Steve Hayward mentions the 'solution' of keeping your fobs in the refrigerator, which apparently also functions as a Faraday cage. But (a) that would cool the batteries, which is probably not good for them, and (b) it would make forgetting-and-having-to-go-back-for your fobs inevitable.

Two: Does the 'hacking' problem apply only to always-on fobs that require only proximity to unlock doors? My 2013 Expedition has a button you have to push to open the doors; it also has a traditional key-lock on the steering column to start the vehicle.

Three: Can thieves who amplify the fob signal also start the cars that use the fob to enable the ignition?

/Mr Lynn



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Saturdays 9am - 1pm Eastern
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Streaming at [www.WHRB.org]
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The HAH weblog: [hillbillyatharvard.wordpress.com]

Topical weblog: [walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com]

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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 11, 2018 06:39PM
There's another solution: Buy a new Toyota.

My fob won't work from more than 10 feet away. PITA when you're hitting the button trying to find your car in a big parking lot. But great security!



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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 11, 2018 06:47PM
Quote
Sarcany
There's another solution: Buy a new Toyota.

My fob won't work from more than 10 feet away. PITA when you're hitting the button trying to find your car in a big parking lot. But great security!

I think the genius (if it is that) of the fob hack device is that it finds a compatible fob from some distance away, even in your house, and amplifies the signal. So if your Toyota fob doesn't work from over 10' away, it may still emit enough of a signal to be discoverable by the thieves.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 11, 2018 06:50PM
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
Sarcany
There's another solution: Buy a new Toyota.

My fob won't work from more than 10 feet away. PITA when you're hitting the button trying to find your car in a big parking lot. But great security!

I think the genius (if it is that) of the fob hack device is that it finds a compatible fob from some distance away, even in your house, and amplifies the signal. So if your Toyota fob doesn't work from over 10' away, it may still emit enough of a signal to be discoverable by the thieves.

/Mr Lynn

I don't think they can amplify such a weak signal without introducing so much noise as to make it useless. Certainly, not gonna work through the walls of my house. I can't even lock the car when I've got a clean line of sight through a window.



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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Frank
Date: February 11, 2018 08:55PM
Just as an aside, hold the fob against your chin to extend the range considerably.
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 11, 2018 09:46PM
Quote
Frank
Just as an aside, hold the fob against your chin to extend the range considerably.

So it'll bounce off your teeth?

Or you could try to find a dead cat, and swing it around three times over your head, while chanting "Fob, dob, grow, mo'"

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Acer
Date: February 11, 2018 10:32PM
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
Frank
Just as an aside, hold the fob against your chin to extend the range considerably.

So it'll bounce off your teeth?

Or you could try to find a dead cat, and swing it around three times over your head, while chanting "Fob, dob, grow, mo'"

/Mr Lynn

I take it you've never tried it. It works.

EDIT: The hold it to your chin thing, except I hold the fob to my temple and open my mouth. I can't speak to the dead cat technique.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2018 10:33PM by Acer.
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: February 12, 2018 12:16AM
It's a bit of a PITA, but one thing you can do is get a second alarm fob that turns off the ignition receiver. Now you need to use two fobs in sequence. The man-in-the-middle attack would have a hard time decoding both.



In tha 360. [url=Zee Maps Now requires a subscription/payment to work]MRF User Map[/url]
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 12, 2018 02:27AM
If they want my car that bad, they can have it.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Michael
Date: February 12, 2018 08:23AM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
Sarcany
There's another solution: Buy a new Toyota.

My fob won't work from more than 10 feet away. PITA when you're hitting the button trying to find your car in a big parking lot. But great security!

I think the genius (if it is that) of the fob hack device is that it finds a compatible fob from some distance away, even in your house, and amplifies the signal. So if your Toyota fob doesn't work from over 10' away, it may still emit enough of a signal to be discoverable by the thieves.

/Mr Lynn

I don't think they can amplify such a weak signal without introducing so much noise as to make it useless. Certainly, not gonna work through the walls of my house. I can't even lock the car when I've got a clean line of sight through a window.

That must be in the new-new versions. I have a 2017 Tacoma and on Sat in the rain I didn't remember if I had locked it as I was going into Costco. As I walked back toward it hitting the lock, it finally flashed the lights at about 150 feet.
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: datbeme
Date: February 12, 2018 09:29AM
Quote
jdc
If they want my car that bad, they can have it.

^^^ This.

Not only that, it still seems quite rare at this point...and limited to opening the doors. While it's only a matter of time, the threat of thieves being able to start it (or keeping it running after you think you've shut it down) seems minimal.

That said, a couple of weeks ago, my car could have been easily started by anyone entering it. At some point without realizing it, I dropped one of my keys (black fob, black interior) between the driver seat and the console. Took me a few days to notice this when I was unable to lock it one day. I didn't have a key with me, so this meant the fob was somewhere in the vehicle.
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Re: Key-Fob Hacking: Any Experience Here?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 12, 2018 05:41PM
Quote
Michael
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
Sarcany
There's another solution: Buy a new Toyota.

My fob won't work from more than 10 feet away. PITA when you're hitting the button trying to find your car in a big parking lot. But great security!

I think the genius (if it is that) of the fob hack device is that it finds a compatible fob from some distance away, even in your house, and amplifies the signal. So if your Toyota fob doesn't work from over 10' away, it may still emit enough of a signal to be discoverable by the thieves.

/Mr Lynn

I don't think they can amplify such a weak signal without introducing so much noise as to make it useless. Certainly, not gonna work through the walls of my house. I can't even lock the car when I've got a clean line of sight through a window.

That must be in the new-new versions. I have a 2017 Tacoma and on Sat in the rain I didn't remember if I had locked it as I was going into Costco. As I walked back toward it hitting the lock, it finally flashed the lights at about 150 feet.

It may be specific to the type of fob. Mine has the buttons, but it's also one of those proximity-devices that lets you unlock by touching the door-handle.



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