Everyone can agree that the remote key entry and start has become standard on new vehicles and is really very convenient. However, is it safe?
A research team from the University of Birmingham recently discovered a number of vulnerabilities that allowed them to mimic and “clone” the wireless key fobs of over 100 million vehicles. These exploits can be recreated using inexpensive and widely available equipment, and could expose millions of vehicles to theft.
The exploits primarily affect Volkswagen vehicles that were manufactured after 1995. By reverse-engineering a component in a Volkswagen vehicle, the researchers were able to determine a digital “master key” that, when paired with a vehicle-specific digital key, gave the researchers access to a vehicle’s unlocking and ignition functions.
Although the researchers will not release the master digital key in order to deter would-be thieves, they warn that a vehicle-specific key can be intercepted at a range of up to 300 feet using inexpensive equipment.
Thanks for reading! Are you worried about remote entry?