Mercedes auto stolen without using a key in seconds in 'relay theft'

30 Novembre, 2017, 13:16 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Thieves take off in Mercedes using anti-lock device

Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police crime reduction team, said care owners can purchase equipment to protect against the hi-tech thefts. A shocking hack allowed two men to fool the Mercedes into thinking they had keys to the vehicle when, in fact, they didn't.

Security cameras in Solihull, England, show a pair of auto thieves using a "relay" device to impersonate the proximity signal from a Mercedes key inside the owner's house.

West Midlands Police believe this is the first ever recording of a "relay crime", as two men are seen approaching the auto and house by a security camera. The Mercedes is parked outside in the victim's driveway. The technique works by holding one box to the wall of a house so it can pick up the signal from the owner's key fob.

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"Relay Crime" involves using external devices that pick up and transfer signals, allowing the auto to be stolen even though the key was inside the house. Proximity systems don't require a key to be physically inserted in an ignition to unlock or start the auto; instead, the auto detects the presence of a key nearby, and unlocks the vehicle. The second attacker stands near the front of the house with the second relay unit, which amplifies the signal unlock request, expanding its range until a response is received from the actual key fob.

A "relay box" attack takes advantage of a weakness in proximity keys, which are popular in modern expensive cars.

Police still haven't identified those responsible for the theft, which took place on September 24, and the Mercedes hasn't been recovered. Alternatively, using an old-fashioned steering wheel lock could prevent the vehicle being stolen, or at least slow the thieves down, and fitting the auto with a tracking device is also recommended.

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