Automotive

$5 Device Unlocks Car Doors

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 4th, 2013 7:21 am
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Nov 24, 2009
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Fergus, ON
Those of us who drive 10 year old Chevy's don't have to worry about this, as all our electronics are shot by now.

Interesting story though.
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Feb 2, 2011
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I just leave my doors unlocked, so everyone can snoop around!
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Mar 1, 2004
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My Ford van open with any single or double edged key, house or car, and so did the rest of the fleet. My buddy lost his spare GM key and the guy looked at the original, walked away and returned with a key and said. "that should work" and it did.

This is how easy it is to pick a door lock unless you have good locks which most of us don't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2DxheDJSNQ

Your car needs an immobilizer and a locking trunk. Don't keep valuables inside.
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AudiDude wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 9:28 am
My Ford van open with any single or double edged key, house or car, and so did the rest of the fleet. My buddy lost his spare GM key and the guy looked at the original, walked away and returned with a key and said. "that should work" and it did.

my 84 olds cutlass was the same. a popsicle stick probably would have worked.
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Apr 20, 2011
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Tornado F2 wrote:
Oct 30th, 2013 11:44 pm
Still, it just goes to show how vulnerable many of the devices we take for granted these days really are. If security is important to you, often the best solution is the most simple, low-tech solution. High-tech features, as seen here, are often the most vulnerable. (A good example would be medical records. Paper files locked away in steel cabinets would be very difficult to steal. Electronic files on a laptop linked to the internet could be very easy to steal. Possibly without anybody even realising).
While I see your point, that is a terrible example. As someone in the health information field, this kind of misinformation in the public is really disappointing, and probably explains why we are so very far behind in advancing in this area.
Your beloved 'low-tech' paper files are more secure?
When an EHR is stored, it's encrypted. If someone breaks the lock (computer password) they still need to decrypt the records with valid permissions and user accounts (no one has access to every record, or every field on a record). Break the lock on your filing cabinet, everything is there, in plain text.
Better yet, everything in an EHR has access logs - you know if, when, and by who that record was broken into.
A cabinet of paper, they probably don't even know everythg that was there, never mind what's missing, or if it was even accessed.
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Mar 23, 2004
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spider wrote:
Oct 30th, 2013 8:22 pm
is it this

http://www.skybuying.com/goods-9496.html
That's an RF jammer, the article talks about an EM device that can unlock doors. I'm guessing that such a device cannot work on all cars and only cars where a certain system/method is used in the RKE system. Notice how it doesn't work on the first car in the video (a Touareg or a Mazda CX-x?), but does work on the next car.
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Tornado F2 wrote:
Oct 30th, 2013 11:44 pm
"He said according to the device’s manufacturer, at least 19 of the devices have been shipped to Winnipeg in the past three months."

Interesting that the manufacturer is willing to reveal the number of devices shipped to Winnipeg. That should help police figure out likely suspects. (Especially with the video). But assuming this device has a legitimate use, shouldn't the distributor be checking to ensure that only legitimate trustworthy people are receiving it?
Not sure how it would be a responsibility of the distributor if the product is legit. IE; I can run out and buy tons of home use products and make something deadly with it.
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koffey wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 11:49 am
Not sure how it would be a responsibility of the distributor if the product is legit. IE; I can run out and buy tons of home use products and make something deadly with it.
I'm not sure exactly what this device is. But if it's an electronic lock opener then they really should be required to have safeguards wrt who gets their hands on it. If not, what's the point of having locks in the first place?
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aqnd wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 10:56 am
While I see your point, that is a terrible example. As someone in the health information field, this kind of misinformation in the public is really disappointing, and probably explains why we are so very far behind in advancing in this area.
Your beloved 'low-tech' paper files are more secure?
When an EHR is stored, it's encrypted. If someone breaks the lock (computer password) they still need to decrypt the records with valid permissions and user accounts (no one has access to every record, or every field on a record). Break the lock on your filing cabinet, everything is there, in plain text.
Better yet, everything in an EHR has access logs - you know if, when, and by who that record was broken into.
A cabinet of paper, they probably don't even know everythg that was there, never mind what's missing, or if it was even accessed.
I'm glad to hear that you/your employer are taking security precautions, but can you guarantee that every medical facility in the country is taking similar precautions? If they are, why do we keep hearing about sensitive electronic data being lost on hard drives, laptops, etc? Also, perhaps you can tell me this: Why is an elderly friend, diagnosed as having plaque buildup in his arteries only a month ago, suddenly receiving unsolicited commercial mailings concerning that exact condition? Obviously our health information isn't nearly as secure as we (and you) would hope it is.

As for those paper files, I did specify locked cabinets. Sure somebody can perhaps break into them, but they would leave physical damage behind to show that a break-in had occurred. Electronic files, unless adequately secured, can be read/altered/tampered with, often without most people being aware they've been compromised.
12 months for condemning rape. 6 months for calling violent thugs "nasty". WTH? Is this IS?
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Dec 9, 2003
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Despite the hype there is NO evidence that this $5 device actually exists. Lots of effort with EMP generators cannot get the locks unlocked. Check out hackaday for discussion. if those guys can't do it, who can?
Last week we caught wind of a piece from the Today Show that shows very technically minded thieves stealing cars with a small device. Cops don’t know how they’re doing it, and of course the Today show (and the Hackaday comments) were full of speculation. The top three theories for how these thieves are unlocking car doors are jamming a keyless entry’s ‘lock signal’, a radio transmitter to send an ‘unlock’ code, or a small EMP device touched to the passenger side door to make it unlock.

That last theory – using a small EMP device to unlock a car’s door – got the attention of someone who builds mini EMP devices and has used them to get credits on slot machines. He emailed us under a condition of anonymity, but he says it’s highly unlikely a mini EMP device would be able to activate the solenoid on a car door.

This anonymous electromagnetic wizard would like to open up a challenge to Hackaday readers, though: demonstrate a miniature EMP device able to unlock an unmodified car door, and you’ll earn the respect of high voltage tinkerers the world over. If you’re successful you could always sell your device to a few criminal interests, but let’s keep things above board here.
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Tornado F2 wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 12:39 pm
I'm glad to hear that you/your employer are taking security precautions, but can you guarantee that every medical facility in the country is taking similar precautions? If they are, why do we keep hearing about sensitive electronic data being lost on hard drives, laptops, etc? Also, perhaps you can tell me this: Why is an elderly friend, diagnosed as having plaque buildup in his arteries only a month ago, suddenly receiving unsolicited commercial mailings concerning that exact condition? Obviously our health information isn't nearly as secure as we (and you) would hope it is.

As for those paper files, I did specify locked cabinets. Sure somebody can perhaps break into them, but they would leave physical damage behind to show that a break-in had occurred. Electronic files, unless adequately secured, can be read/altered/tampered with, often without most people being aware they've been compromised.
You talk of locked filing cabinets and then your analogy for electronic is a portable hard drive loaded with unencrypted data. Seriously?
I counter with the employee taking a box of files home in their car, which are also "lost".
People make mistakes, and are generally stupid. But those incidences arere not a fault of the technology, its the stupid people.

If you leave a cabinet or door or computer unlocked and things go missing, that has nothing to do with the technology, that's on you.
When used as intended, there is zero reason to not use EHR.
I know that's not the topic of this thread, so I won't respond again about this.

The technology in the car case is certainly to blame.
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Jun 15, 2011
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Tried one of the methods (posted on the 2nd link) with the British guy. Didn't work. So may be for older cars with key fobs BUT no alarm system.
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djemzine wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 1:34 pm
Tried one of the methods (posted on the 2nd link) with the British guy. Didn't work. So may be for older cars with key fobs BUT no alarm system.
It's a silly video, he presses the button while the fob is off screen. Cell phones don't work in the same frequency range as Remote Keyless. Nor are they designed to capture and store frequency codes.

There's another video from awhile back with someone showing you can "unlock" the doors by using a tennis ball to blow air into the lock.

Mythbusters also did a segment on it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ1jfhaL3Ec
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aqnd wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 12:52 pm
I know that's not the topic of this thread, so I won't respond again about this.

The technology in the car case is certainly to blame.
That's good. I wasn't looking to debate it. But encrypted or not (and unless it's required by law, I'll bet many files aren't) hackers still seem to have ways of decrypting them.

Anyway, it was automotive technology that we were really talking about here. If a car has Bluetooth technology, does that open it up to external security threats? And will that become an ever greater concern as the electronics in our vehicles become more advanced? I would think so.

BTW, on the topic of EMP, it was discovered back in the 60s, when the US and others were still crazy enough to perform nuclear tests in the open atmosphere, that an EMP pulse could be generated that would fry electronics for miles around. Obviously that' was a concern then, and a far, far greater one now. It was said that Soviet equipment of the time was far less vulnerable to EMP because they still used comparatively primitive equipment (that still got the job done, mind). So there's definitely an argument for old-school, at least in certain critical applications.
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tkyoshi wrote:
Oct 31st, 2013 1:39 pm
It's a silly video, he presses the button while the fob is off screen. Cell phones don't work in the same frequency range as Remote Keyless. Nor are they designed to capture and store frequency codes.

There's another video from awhile back with someone showing you can "unlock" the doors by using a tennis ball to blow air into the lock.

Mythbusters also did a segment on it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ1jfhaL3Ec
Didn't watch the video but for some reason I have it in my head that old skool MBs with the vacuum actuated powerlocks would be susceptible to this.
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