PSA: Tesla Warning on Relay Attacks but can happen to almost any newer car

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Brokedoc

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#1
Public Service Announcement:

Electrek had an article today about Tesla sending out emails warning about a new, high-tech way that thieves are stealing cars with "Relay Attacks" but can happen to almost any newer car with a keyfob that the car senses when the driver is close to the car. The Bluetooth Phone Key used in the Model 3 is a different technology but it may be possible for thieves to do a relay attack with Bluetooth as well.

The keyfobs communicate wirelessly with the car at a very limited distance and exchange security codes to ensure that the right key is operating the right car. Thieves use relay boxes that simply bridge the signal and fool the car into thinking that the keyfob is close to the car. After getting in, the thieves can start the car and drive it away.

TLDR: Tesla recommends disabling the auto unlock feature when driving to a populated area or an area where theft may be more likely. Alternatively, or with any other car that uses proximity detecting keyfobs, using an inexpensive RFID blocking pouch or Faraday cage will block any signals from the keyfob as well.

Here is an example of a Mercedes Relay Attack theft last year in Britain that was captured on surveillance. https://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/merced...econds-high-tech-theft-caught-on-cctv-1781274

https://electrek.co/2018/07/31/tesla-theft-tips-help-prevent-relay-attacks/
 

raptor

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#2
I'm not worried about it. In most cases, I can't even get into my own car using my own finangled bluetooth doohickey.

Kidding aside, I hope Tesla's Bluetooth implementation is robust enough to resist this attack, since they seem to be able to figure out if you're close to the vehicle or not.
 

scott franco

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#4
I'm not worried about it. In most cases, I can't even get into my own car using my own finangled bluetooth doohickey.

Kidding aside, I hope Tesla's Bluetooth implementation is robust enough to resist this attack, since they seem to be able to figure out if you're close to the vehicle or not.
No kidding. Get one of the thieves to tell US how to get into the car. Its the ultimate theft prevention device, I can't get into my own car, either.
 

Brokedoc

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#5
Another article plus a good quality video of thieves in the UK stealing a Model S. Makes me seriously think owners of ALL car makes should use the PIN feature to protect their cars from relay attacks.

Oh wait.... only Tesla has that feature.... I guess everyone else should use a RF blocking pouch then.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/22/tesla-model-s-theft-keyfob-hack/
 

Karl Sun

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#7
Nothing to be worried about around here.

If someone wants your car, they all have gun alreadys. Suddenly your car becomes a low priority.