No one wants to think about their car being stolen. That said, it happens on a pretty regular basis, so there’s a good chance that one day, it might happen to you.
If you’re looking for ways to be more prepared, or maybe even prevent that awful moment in your life, police have a strange tip for you – and it’s to wrap your car keys in tinfoil.
Yes, exactly like you’re trying to hide them from aliens.
If you’ve got a newer car, you probably are constantly amazed by how the technology continues to evolve. For instance, we don’t need to unlock our doors anymore – as long as we have our fob in our pocket, they unlock automatically.
As cool as it is living in the future, though, it comes with certain risks, because thieves are never more than a couple of steps behind.
With this technology, they’re able to intercept the signal going from your fob to your keyless entry and steal your car.
The keyless system works by pairing a computer chip inside your key fob to a unique code made just for your car’s security system. Your car comes with another chip and similar technology/codes. The codes match, your car opens – as long as you’re within a couple feet of the door.
Thieves, though, can use a “relay box” that grabs fob signals from up to 300 feet away, transmitting them to your car and giving them plenty of time to speed off before you can get there.
And according to Campbell Murray, the technical director of cybersecurity at BlackBerry, it’s not as rare as you’d think.
“It’s an incredibly common occurrence and the easiest way to gain entry to or otherwise steal a high-end car. A quick search on YouTube for ‘car stolen key amplification’ or ‘car key relay’ will return hundreds of CCTV clips where the attack is being undertaken.”
There are other ways hackers can get into your car’s security system as well, but police say there’s a simple way to “foil” just about any plot.
All you have to do is wrap your key fob in aluminum foil.
Simple, though you will have to unwrap and re-wrap when you want to use it yourself, says Holly Hubert, a retired FBI cybersecurity expert.
“Although it’s not ideal, it is the most inexpensive way. The cyber threat is so dynamic and ever changing, it’s hard for consumers to keep up.”
You can also spring for a small faraday cage or faraday shield, which also blocks all major electromagnetic fields or signals. They can get expensive, though, and a bit of tinfoil is cheap.
So there you go, friends – you don’t have to be rich to stop thieves in their tracks, you just have to be smart (and grab a little tinfoil).
This time you don’t even have to wear it on your head.