Gone In 10 Seconds

Thu 8th Aug 2019

A major new report has revealed just how quickly keyless cars can be stolen, with some of the UK’s biggest brands taken in less than a minute.

What Car? Magazine’s research and testing has demonstrated that one brand of car, the DS 3 Crossback Puretech 155 Ultra Prestige can be stolen in just 10 seconds. By employing two security experts, What Car? used the most common form of keyless car theft, ‘relay attack’ on five cars, whilst using a lock-picking device on two other cars.

The experts gained entry to the DS in five seconds and then used the same technology to start the engine using the push-button starter.

The PSA Group, the parent group of DS said: “PSA Group has created a dedicated division to analyse and treat potential or proven weaknesses of vehicle security, including to monitor statistics and internet activity. PSA Group works closely with the police and regulatory authorities in order to analyse theft methods.”

Some of the UK’s most popular car brands are also prone to easy attack, with two Land Rover Discovery models accessed within 30 seconds, while BMW, Audi, Ford and Mercedes all had models which could be stolen in less than a minute.

“It’s outrageous that some car makers have introduced keyless entry and keyless start systems without making them anywhere near as secure as the traditional alternatives they’ve replaced,” said What Car?

“Criminals are able to circumvent the other security systems on these cars, such as alarms and immobilisers, by hacking into their codes. It is great news that a small number of brands, including Audi, BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz, have introduced new technology to combat theft. We particularly applaud Jaguar and Land Rover for developing a system that prevents cars from being driven away, although we think this should be rolled out across all of its models.”