Tracker, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, is warning car owners of the growing threat of car hackers who are able to break into vehicles and drive them away without the keys.
Thieves exploiting keyless ignition systems, use a handheld electronic device to circumvent a car’s security system, allowing them to drive it away.
Hackers find the car’s access codes to programme a blank key fob, allowing them to take over the computer systems and control the vehicle.
Some criminals use ‘jammers’ which stops the car from locking when the driver presses the remote key. This makes it more important than ever for car owners to add extra layers of security protection.
“Car hacking is a growing issue for motorists, especially as the devices that override the ignition system are so freely available on the internet and only cost around £20,” explained Andy Barrs, police liaison officer for Tracker.
“Today’s sophisticated security systems mean thieves have to be smarter than ever and the latest trends show that criminal gangs have found a way to crack keyless cars.
“A tracking unit can significantly increase the chances of a stolen car being returned to its rightful owner and Tracker devices come with a motion sensor that’s triggered even if the engine isn’t started.”
Barrs concluded: “The message is clear – protect your vehicle with everything you can, rather than simply relying on the features that come with the vehicle.”