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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

CCTV Captures High-Tech Thief Stealing a Bakkie in 34 Seconds

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In a chilling incident captured on video and making the rounds on social media, a man’s bakkie was stolen in under 34 seconds.

So fast that even if he came back to the car after a minute, he would find an open parking space.

The shocking footage shows the owner locking and leaving his car. Just 18 seconds after he leaves it, a crafty thief manages to open the bakkie.

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The thief seemingly used sophisticated technology to intercept the key fob signal and replicate it, granting them access to the car.

16 seconds later, the thief was driving away with the stolen vehicle.

The method employed by this thief highlights the vulnerability of keyless-entry vehicles to high-tech theft, a growing concern for motorists, especially in South Africa, where newer vehicles with keyless entry and ignition features have become prime targets for criminals.

Keyless entry is designed for convenience, allowing car owners to open and start their vehicles by simply having the key fob or mobile device in close proximity to the car.

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It eliminates the need to physically press a button on the fob, providing a hassle-free experience.

However, this convenience also makes these systems susceptible to relay attacks.

In a relay attack, criminals use signal-amplifying and receiving equipment to hijack the key fob signal.

Here’s how it works

Signal Amplification: One thief carries signal-amplifying equipment, which captures the short-wave radio signal emitted by the key fob. The thief only needs to be within a few metres of the fob for a brief moment.

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Signal Relaying: This captured signal is then relayed to another thief with signal-receiving equipment who is positioned near the targeted vehicle.

Car Access: The signal-receiving equipment tricks the car into thinking the key fob is nearby, allowing the thief to open the car’s doors and start the engine, all without the need for breaking in or fiddling with locks.

This method is particularly concerning because it can be executed quickly and discreetly in crowded areas like shopping malls, making it hard to detect.

Criminals can easily obtain the necessary equipment online, further contributing to the rise in relay theft incidents.

Watch | Robbers Devise New Deceptive Trick to Hijack Truck on N2 at Izingolweni

To protect your keyless-entry car from these tech-savvy thieves, consider the following tips

Deactivate Keyless Entry: Some vehicles allow you to permanently deactivate the keyless entry feature. This can usually be done through the car’s infotainment system or at a dealership. Check your car’s manual for guidance.

Use a Faraday Pouch: Store your key fob in a Faraday pouch, which contains a conductive metal lining that blocks radio waves. This prevents criminals from amplifying the signal. Faraday pouches are widely available and affordable.

Faraday Cage: When at home, consider placing your key fob in a metal box, like a cookie tin, which acts as a Faraday cage, preventing signal transmission.

Park Strategically: Park your car away from the street and walls to make it more difficult for signal receivers to get within range of your key fob.

Motion-Sensing Fobs: Some newer key fobs come with motion-sensing capabilities that deactivate transmissions when stationary for an extended period. While this helps, it may not protect against relay attacks, as the fob continues to sense motion.

As high-tech thieves become more adept at stealing keyless-entry vehicles, it’s crucial for car owners to take proactive measures to secure their vehicles.

By following these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to relay theft and enjoy the convenience of keyless entry with peace of mind.

Stay vigilant and protect your prized possession from the clutches of tech-savvy criminals.

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