Why Electronic Vehicle Owners Are at Risk of Car Theft

The rising popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) has brought concerns about their security. One EV owner, identified as TB, recently expressed their fear of car theft through key fob signal interception. In a letter to The Telegraph, TB questioned whether using the Hyundai app on their smartphone instead of the key fob would provide better security for their Hyundai Ioniq 5 worth £43,000.

Thieves have been known to use relay interceptors, devices that copy the signal transmitted from electronic key fobs to gain unauthorized access to vehicles. By playing back the copied signal, these gadgets trick the car’s computer into believing the signal is legitimate, thereby unlocking the doors. If the vehicle has keyless ignition, the thief can also start the engine and escape within seconds.

To tackle this issue, some manufacturers are shifting to using smartphone apps as a substitute for electronic key fobs. However, this introduces a new set of risks. Hackers may gain access to the smartphone, allowing them to retrieve passwords and the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). With this information, they can set up the app on their own phone, replicating the same vulnerability as relay attacks.

If theft concerns persist, car owners have the option to purchase an old-fashioned physical key fob for an additional fee, providing an alternative to the app. Furthermore, the Government is reportedly planning to crack down on relay theft by prosecuting individuals found in possession of relay devices without a lawful reason.

It is crucial for EV owners to remain vigilant about the security of their vehicles. Manufacturers and authorities are actively attempting to address these issues, but it is essential for owners to take precautions to avoid falling victim to car theft.

– The Telegraph (source article)
– Getty (image source)