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Slew of Burglaries From Vehicles Using New Tech

10825 Views 76 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  ezlife45
In Los Angeles and elsewhere there has been a rash of burglaries from vehicles utilizing an RF amplifier that will boost your key fob signal, otherwise too weak to open your car, to open your doors and trunk. The little black box amplifies your own secure code so that your car thinks you are standing at the door.

The thief then enters the vehicle takes what he wants and leaves. Most often they are on bicycles to make quick getaways. Numerous instances have been captured on video.

The solution is simple, use a Faraday cage type pouch or container to prevent the signal from reaching the vehicle. The author of the article I will link you to below suggests using your freezer which I don't recommend as that will prematurely age your fob's battery. Aluminum foil does NOT work, some dumbass news reporter here in L.A. (John Gregory) suggested that without even testing it and I can assure you it does not work.

Amazon sells Faraday pouches which are ridiculously expensive but will work. My wife, genius that she is found the perfect solution for us in our kitchen, reasonably priced, incorporating a sort of Faraday technology (the mesh metal screen on top) and it works flawlessly blocking the signal right next to the vehicle. Our solution is a stainless steel sifter with stainless steel screen built into the lid.

The media also recommends a microwave oven as a storage device, I don't like that solution either for obvious reasons.

I found out by accident the other night that the Hellcat FOB has impressive range. From 40 feet way through 2 load bearing walls and one interior wall I unintentionally unlocked the doors. Apparently, these amplifiers the thieves are using are sensitive enough that they can work with signals too weak to open the car by fob alone. The amplifier can take the weak signal and boost it enough to access the car.

I am not taking any chances some of thefts occurred within 5 miles of my home. I strongly suggest that we take this seriously, secure your fob.

I searched the forum didn't find any info so I thought I would share my solution. I know many have heard the story but apparently not enough to prevent the thefts that occurred last week here in L.A. News story video, etc. below photo.

Product Audio equipment Cylinder Filter Microphone


CNN Story:

Article regarding thefts: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/style/keeping-your-car-safe-from-electronic-thieves.html?_r=0

Fob guard: Fob Guard: Ideal Faraday Cage for Car Keyless Entry Fobs
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Another solution. . . Turn off the feature and revert to using your fob buttons. . . Configure "PASSIVE ENTRY" OFF (under control, settings, doors & locks).
Great idea, one word of caution though, I am not certain that they do not have a button on their amplifier. In the CNN video an Escalade was locked and the owner had a dashcam video of the theft. You can hear the locks snap open which means some of these devices can pop the locks open. :eek:

One thing is certain, if the fob is electronically secure they won't be amplifying the signal.
In Los Angeles and elsewhere there has been a rash of burglaries from vehicles utilizing an RF amplifier that will boost your key fob signal, otherwise too weak to open your car, to open your doors and trunk. The little black box amplifies your own secure code so that your car thinks you are standing at the door.

The thief then enters the vehicle takes what he wants and leaves. Most often they are on bicycles to make quick getaways. Numerous instances have been captured on video.

The solution is simple, use a Faraday cage type pouch or container to prevent the signal from reaching the vehicle. The author of the article I will link you to below suggests using your freezer which I don't recommend as that will prematurely age your fob's battery. Aluminum foil does NOT work, some dumbass news reporter here in L.A. (John Gregory) suggested that without even testing it and I can assure you it does not work.

Amazon sells Faraday pouches which are ridiculously expensive but will work. My wife, genius that she is found the perfect solution for us in our kitchen, reasonably priced, incorporating a sort of Faraday technology (the mesh metal screen on top) and it works flawlessly blocking the signal right next to the vehicle. Our solution is a stainless steel sifter with stainless steel screen built into the lid.

The media also recommends a microwave oven as a storage device, I don't like that solution either for obvious reasons.

I found out by accident the other night that the Hellcat FOB has impressive range. From 40 feet way through 2 load bearing walls and one interior wall I unintentionally unlocked the doors. Apparently, these amplifiers the thieves are using are sensitive enough that they can work with signals too weak to open the car by fob alone. The amplifier can take the weak signal and boost it enough to access the car.

I am not taking any chances some of thefts occurred within 5 miles of my home. I strongly suggest that we take this seriously, secure your fob.

I searched the forum didn't find any info so I thought I would share my solution. I know many have heard the story but apparently not enough to prevent the thefts that occurred last week here in L.A. News story video, etc. below photo.

View attachment 42526

CNN Story:

Article regarding thefts: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/style/keeping-your-car-safe-from-electronic-thieves.html?_r=0

Fob guard: Fob Guard: Ideal Faraday Cage for Car Keyless Entry Fobs
Crooks really do research and extort you also sometimes. Sad to see. it happened. Some punks who got signals somehow. Inside job from someone who has access sounds like to me
Crooks really do research and extort you also sometimes. Sad to see. it happened. Some punks who got signals somehow. Inside job from someone who has access sounds like to me
According to the local Eyewitness News here in L.A. there were something like a dozen thefts in one neighborhood. I guess it could be an inside job if they all had something in common like they all used the same valet. The current theory seems to be that the mysterious black box they are carrying is designed to amplify the secure code of the owner's fob and thereby gain access with no prior contact. But who knows. Until they catch them and analyze the boxes we won't know for sure.
Opening with the button on the fob is a different sequence. When using passive entry, the car starts the sequence. When using the fob button, the fob starts the sequence. The thieves have access to the car (to start the sequence of events) using passive entry. They do not have access to the fob. Emulating the start of the sequence of a fob button press would be much more difficult - It is a more proven technology.
Understood, thank you for clarifying that.
Move out of LA and park your HC in your garage.
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Move out of LA and park your HC in your garage.
Move out of LA: Never

Garage the HC: Absolutely (irrespective of your location)
Since the passive entry sequence relies on the FOBIK battery to amplify the RFID signal, I wonder what would happen if you simply removed the battery from the FOBIK.
I'm watching this but at this point I don't believe it at all. I'm betting the vehicles are unlocked and the owner either doesn't know it or won't admit it due to embarrassment and possible insurance implications. We had a rash of thefts with the same hype given. Later it turned out the so called high tech thieves were simply checking every vehicle and often they found ones not locked.
Never been a fan of the this fob idea. Don't know why we're not using keys anymore.
You must not have watched the video. The thieves are just walking by, trying all cars, touching door handles to test them, clearly using the passive entry feature to unlock cars and gain access.
I watched the video.
It has been over a year now the "authorities" have supposedly had in their possession these devices, more than one according to the various reports. The have not figured it out? I bet I could figure it out in a few days at most if I had one of the alleged devices.
You must not have watched the video. The thieves are just walking by, trying all cars, touching door handles to test them, clearly using the passive entry feature to unlock cars and gain access.
I don't know about anyone else, but i immediately made a dash to my garage and disabled the passive entry feature on my cars.

Forget all the anti theft mechanisms/devices, I think I might need to adopt a couple of Rottweilers...lol.
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If man built it, man will figure out a way to defeat/break it
Imagine the cost of a recall, upgrading software and replacing every fob for every passive entry vehicle produced over the past 5 years. This is why car companies would be remaining virtually silent on this issue. From what I have read, the correction to defeat this thief tech may also involve a change in frequency band used, which would mean changing electronics on the car as well. - This would be a very expensive recall. I am betting fnkychkn comes up with crickets on this one.
What does the frequency the fob operates on have to due with it?
Leave CA period. Why stay in that hell hole. Sanctuary citys, out of control crime. SMH..
I'm watching this but at this point I don't believe it at all. I'm betting the vehicles are unlocked and the owner either doesn't know it or won't admit it due to embarrassment and possible insurance implications. We had a rash of thefts with the same hype given. Later it turned out the so called high tech thieves were simply checking every vehicle and often they found ones not locked.
I know it might be hard to believe, when the story broke a few years ago I didn't believe it was worth worrying about. But with numerous reports so close to home I can't afford to go into denial especially when the fix is so easy. The container I store the fobs in is not inconvenient and I sleep better knowing the car in the driveway is that much safer.

If you don't believe it, disregard. There is now enough credible evidence that I won't be taking any chances.

Move out of LA and park your HC in your garage.
Really? Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions. I guess you ignored the fact that it started in states other than California and is moving across the nation. This isn't limited geographically to one particular area.

I think I'll stick with the $9 sifter can pictured above. It works perfectly and I don't have to liquidate my successful wholesale grocery business or dismantle my workshop in the garage. Besides, the thieves aren't just in L.A. The story broke in 2013 and cars all over the country have been hit.

Leave CA period. Why stay in that hell hole. Sanctuary citys, out of control crime. SMH..
This issue is not limited to California. It didn't start in California, it spread to California and several other states.

Never been a fan of the this fob idea. Don't know why we're not using keys anymore.
The inexorable march of technological progress has opened a can of worms with new exploits criminals can use to separate us of our property.

Meanwhile, putting the fobs in a small metallic container solves this exploit - guaranteed 100% effective. I wouldn't use the freezer, microwave oven or aluminum foil as the media is suggesting.

I don't know about anyone else, but i immediately made a dash to my garage and disabled the passive entry feature on my cars.

Forget all the anti theft mechanisms/devices, I think I might need to adopt a couple of Rottweilers...lol.
Remember the part of the video with the Escalade, it's not just the passive system that is vulnerable. They can activate the unlock button. Best solution is to secure the fob so that the frequency cannot be amplified. Without your fob signal and its unique unlock code feeding their amplifier this exploit doesn't work.

The Rottweiler adoption sounds good! Definitely part of a good security system. LOL We have 3 English Mastiffs the biggest of which is 251 lbs they are great at watching and listening for trouble. And when the big boy barks the bass notes vibrate my innards.
Dog Mammal Vertebrate Dog breed Canidae
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You all seem to have waaaaaay to much time to worry about this stuff. It is just a car with insurance. They are welcome to steal mine every couple years so I can get a new one....
Just turned off passive entry in my 2011 SRT
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