The Rise of Car Theft in Electric Vehicles: Are They More Vulnerable?

An EV owner has raised concerns about the security of electronic key fobs and car key apps, highlighting the potential risks of car theft in electric vehicles. The motorist, known as TB, expressed fear that the increasing use of key-fob signal interception could be used to steal their £43,000 car.

Thieves have been known to employ devices called relay interceptors, which can copy the signal transmitted from an electronic key fob and play it back. This tricks the car’s computer system into believing that the signal is legitimate, enabling the thief to unlock the doors and even start the engine if the vehicle has keyless ignition.

To counteract this vulnerability, car manufacturers are shifting towards using smartphone apps as a substitute for electronic fobs. However, this introduces new avenues for theft, as hackers with access to a smartphone can gain significant power. If a phone is hacked or stolen, the perpetrator could potentially access the app, passwords, and even the car’s Vehicle Identification Number, leading to the same security risks as relay attacks.

For individuals who have heightened concerns about car theft, some brands offer the option to purchase an old-fashioned physical key fob for an additional fee. Additionally, the government reportedly plans to crack down on relay theft, including prosecuting individuals found in possession of relay devices without a legitimate reason.

It is essential for EV owners to remain cautious and prioritize security measures to protect their vehicles. As the industry continues to evolve, manufacturers and authorities must work together to address these vulnerabilities and ensure the safety and security of electric vehicles.

– The Telegraph