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Criminals Exploit Keyless Entry To Steal Cars And Vans

By raccars Published

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The number of car thieves who are taking advantage of keyless entry systems used in modern vehicles is on the rise, according to an announcement made by the Metropolitan Police this week.

Vehicle theft has increased by eight per cent in the past year, with criminals turning to computer hacking to gain access to high end cars and vans. At the moment, there is something of a car crime spree taking place in London, with 17 vehicles taken on an average day.

Keyless entry used on Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter vans is making these commercial vehicles soft targets for crooks. However, the Met statistics show that vehicles from BMW and Land Rover are similarly susceptible.

Over two fifths of all car thefts in London last year were achieved as a result of criminals hacking the keyless entry system of contemporary vehicles. So while this type of technology may be convenient for consumers, it is clear that manufacturers need to tighten up security systems, to prevent this spate of thefts from being perpetuated.

The reason that gangs can hack keyless entry systems so easily is because the tools required to do so are widely available to buy online. Once access to a car has been gained using these illicit methods, the thieves then either drive the vehicles away themselves, or hook them up to tow trucks, to get them out of London.

Rather than being sold domestically, most of these stolen cars and vans end up shipped overseas, with African nations being the most common destination for them.

When it comes to protecting cars from thieves, whether keyless entry is an option or not, the police advise that motorists can take a number of steps to keep their vehicle safe. Inexpensive anti-theft solutions, such as steering wheel and gearstick locks are recommended, since they are often enough to dissuade criminals from attempting to break in, even if they are relatively low-tech.

The Metropolitan Police announced that a taskforce has been established in the wake of this rise in car crime, with investigators liaising with members of the car manufacturing industry, to help improve the security on new cars.

In many instances, it is simply a case of rolling out a software update to improve keyless entry protection, although not all systems are as sophisticated and direct intervention by official dealerships may be required.

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