Car Giants Fight Back Against Relay Attacks

Wed 6th Nov 2019

Some of the world’s biggest car brands have been praised for developing technology which defends against the previous vulnerabilities of relay thefts.

While the top brands have always been a target for car thieves due to their popularity, there has been a sharp rise in crime in recent years, with keyless car fobs blamed for what some have described as an epidemic.

But now security experts have praised the likes of Audi, BMW, Ford and Volkswagen for tackling the issue by creating technology which can put the fobs to sleep when their are inactive.

Thatcham Research have given top marks for overall security to six new models, including the Audi A6, BMW 1 Series, BMW 8 Series, BMW X6, Ford Puma and Volkswagen Passat. It is hoped the new technology will put an end to car criminals exploiting vulnerabilities and taking cars with technology over force.

Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research said: "The models rated from Audi, BMW, Ford and Volkswagen not only have strong all-round security but have also made motion sensor enabled fobs available as standard when buyers opt for keyless entry and start.

"It’s positive news for consumers that carmakers, in increasing measure, are making this fix available.

"The motion sensor fob is a good short-term option, but the goal for carmakers must be to design out the vulnerability entirely. Until then, a fundamental security flaw remains.

"We advise consumers to check how long it takes before the sleep mode on their keyless fob is engaged.

"Some fobs go to sleep in one or two minutes, others in 15 or even as long as 30 minutes."