Hackers Can Break into Your Car and Home With This $32 Device
As of late, people have been freaking out about new car hacking through high-tech means. According to recent reports, it was the owners of newer cars to worry about, but many more car owners are susceptible to an entirely different kind of hack, and it can effect more than just your car. So you are walking out to your car, and you hit the key fob to unlock it, but it doesn’t beep on the first try. Are the batteries on your fob starting to run out? Maybe, or maybe the signal is being intercepted by a hacker like Samy Kamkar, using a surprisingly affordable and accessible device. RELATED: Surprise! Hacking is Not Always High-Tech
According to a Wired report, Kamkar showed off a modified version of a “RollJam” at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas. The RollJam is available for $32 at electronics stores, and is used to defeat “rolling codes” for security reasons. This hack flips the script.
The way it works is the hacker places the RollJam near the intended car or garage they wish to break into. When the owner comes home or to their car and hits their key fob, the first transmission from the fob will be intercepted by the device. The hacker can simply come back whenever they want, and now they have the car’s or garage’s security code.
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Signal-intercepting devices have been around for a while, and so the companies that make the key fobs and garage door openers have come up with rolling codes to defeat the old-school criminals. But the RollJam sends out a jamming signal when you hit your key fob, blocking two of the fob’s signals. It then simultaneously listens for a third signal from the fob. When it blocks that first signal, you don’t hear your car “beep,” so you hit it again, and now the hacker has multiple codes for your garage or car.
According to the report, Kamkar has tested this on vehicles from Nissan, Ford, Cadillac, Toyota, Lotus, Volkswagen, and Chrysler, as well as several garage door opener companies. Kamkar says millions of vehicles are vulnerable.
Cadillac says it has moved to a new system for its key fobs. The new system is called Dual-Keeloq, and may be able to defeat RollJam. That provides hope for vehicle security going forward, but begs two questions. When is the rest of the industry going to update its security? And when is someone going to be able to defeat that newer security system?
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