ADAC Video Reveals How Easily Keyless Cars Can Be Stolen

ADAC Video Reveals How Easily Keyless Cars Can Be Stolen 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Keyless entry and start systems are very convenient. You just need to have the key in your pocket, and the vehicle unlocks itself once you grab the door handle. However, it also poses a serious risk of theft, according to ADAC, Europe's largest car club.
The eye-opening video they posted on YouTube starts with a real life demonstration of how genuine thieves open a car. One person extends the range of the key fob by holding a device next to the window. The other person climbs in and starts the car. They don't just take off with all of the poor victim's possessions, but the entire car.

Thanks to the signal booster system, the car thinks that the key fob is inside the vehicle or quite close to it. So it allows the engine to start and will not stop it until all the fuel is used up.

You didn't know that, did you? We all think that keyless systems are smart, complex. But in reality, they seem to be just simple binary devices that activate based on key detection. What is a great convenience feature for you or me could also be the greatest threat to personal property right now.

With no visible entry marks on the vehicle, the police won't notice them until it's too late. Often, the cars end up in a different country where they are hacked into working or sold for spare parts.

The ADAC also built such a hacking device, and it's surprisingly small. While the one used by the real thieves was the size of a laptop, this one is a compact brick. So far, they have tested 20 vehicles from 12 brands and in all cases, they were able to drive off within seconds. The Germans are calling on all the car manufacturers to remedy the problem as soon as possible.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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