Monday, October 18, 2021
News Capturing Signals From Key Fobs To Steal Cars: It Looks Too Easy

Capturing Signals From Key Fobs To Steal Cars: It Looks Too Easy

A CCTV home video records two individuals capturing a key Fob signal and driving off into the night with a Lexus SUV.


  • All that is required is some equipment, partners in crime, and little to no patience.

  • The entire process lasts mere seconds.


This incident occurred in the northeast section of Toronto, apparently one of the growing number of car thefts in the area. The method is all electronics and the way the incident goes down is disarmingly simple.

Automotive Hacking Incidents Were Seven Times Greater in 2019 Compared To 2016

We’ve watched this brief video multiple times now and the visuals are shocking. Only about 13 seconds go by between the time when individual #1 starts unraveling his wire and individual #2 gets into the Lexus SUV. Mere seconds later, the vehicle is gone.

CityNews reports that the Toronto Police believes the suspects are targeting late-model vehicles that use keyless FOBs.

“It is believed that thieves stand near the front door of a house, holding a device that captures the signal emitted from the keyless FOB,” police said on Tuesday. “This device is a radio frequency amplifier that will increase the signal range of the keyless FOB.”

In the story, the Canadian Automobile Association refers to this organized theft as a “man in the middle” or “relay attack.” The CAA and the Toronto Police say that there are ways to curb these incidents. Of their four suggestions, the best one, to us, is to not leave keys out in the open. Either put them in a container or bag that is designed to block radio signals (a “Faraday” bag).

Why are car insurance premiums on the rise?

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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