Forget carjacking, the next big threat is car-HACKING: Thousands of vehicles are being stolen using cheap gadgets bought online
- Police figures claim half of car thefts are carried out without using force
- It is thought criminals are using cheap locksmith gadgets to gain access
- Modern cars contain up to 80 low-powered computers
- These computers power navigation, central locking, brakes, and more
- Gadgets can be bought online and video tutorials reveal how to use them
PUBLISHED: 12:51, 8 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:55, 8 May 2014 (Mailonline)
Gone are the days of smashed windows and breaking into cars with crowbars. Now a new, smarter threat has emerged that lets criminals take vehicles at the touch of a button.
Figures from London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) claim half of car thefts in London last year were committed without the use of force.
Instead, it is thought criminals used hi-tech gadgets designed for locksmiths to gain access and drive away without raising suspicion.
Figures from the Metropolitan Police Service claim half of car thefts in London last year were committed without force. It is thought criminals used hi-tech gadgets designed for locksmiths to gain access, instead. The gadgets can be bought online and there are video tutorials showing how to use them. Stock image pictured
THE £12 GADGET TO HACK CARS
In February, Spanish security researchers created the CAN Hacking Tool (CHT) – a device can be fitted to any car’s Controller Area Network ‘within minutes’ and run malicious code through the vehicle’s system.
Once hackers take hold of this network they can control lights, locks, steering and even brakes – and it costs just $20 (£12).
The tool has four wires that are attached to the different outputs of a car’s controller network.
A $1 computer chip is used to bypass any encryption on the car before reading and writing data from the flash memory of the vehicle’s engine control unit.
The reports come after a number of ethical hackers highlighted the risk to cars last year, by remotely taking control of a Toyota Prius and Ford Escape.
But the gadgets being used in London don’t just target specific models, they can be used, in theory, to access any vehicle with an on-board computer – which is the majority of modern makes.
Most cars today contain up to 80 low-powered computers that power navigation, central locking, brakes and more.
An investigation by Sky News found that the gadgets can be bought cheaply online and there are even video tutorials that teach criminals how to use them.
In February, Spanish security researchers created the $20 (£12) CAN Hacking Tool (CHT), pictured – a device that can be fitted to any car’s Controller Area Network ‘within minutes’ and run malicious code through the vehicle’s system. Once hackers take hold of this network they control lights, locks, steering and brakes
Engineers from Indiana previously managed to hack the software that runs the electronics in a 2010 Toyota Prius and Ford Escape, pictured, so that the brakes, steering, speedometer and the car’s electronics can be controlled remotely using a laptop
In February, Spanish security researchers created the CAN Hacking Tool (CHT) – a device that can be fitted to any car’s Controller Area Network ‘within minutes’ and run malicious code through the vehicle’s system.
Last year, security engineers from Indiana managed to hack the software inside the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape using a laptop wirelessly connected to the cars’ electronics.
Hacking tools can be attached to a car’s Controller Area Network (CAN), pictured. This diagram shows the electronic layout of a typical car and the features controlled by the CAN are shown along the black lines including lights, climate, seats, heating and locks
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to remotely control the brakes, the accelerator, change the speedometer, switch the headlights on and off, tighten the seatbelts and even blast the horn.
The project was funded by a grant from the U.S Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to highlight the security risks affecting modern-day cars.
According to the MPS, 21,000 cars were stolen last year, and a further 68,000 were broken into.
‘High-end vehicles are becoming more and more sophisticated. In turn so are criminals,’ MPS told Sky News.
The MPS added it is now working with car manufacturers and has advised drivers to use steering locks and tracking devices as an extra layer of security.
SO GUYS WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT? Deadlocks?, Steering Locks, TRACKERS! Oh yes where did I read about Trackers? (clue= last issue LASM)