How to Protect a Keychain From a Car From Burglary

Someone recently broke into my car two nights in a row. The first time I thought it was a mistake on my part and that I forgot to lock it after I got home. So I made a commitment to lock it up and arm the alarm the next night, and yet someone was able to hack again .

Fortunately, nothing was stolen, as there are not so many things in the car, but of course it was still alarming. The windows weren’t smashed either, since the hell did someone manage to unlock the car without the keys? I suppose since the car is new (we only have it since April), it is unlikely that anyone had the correct key.

Then a quick look at Facebook groups and Nextdoor feeds showed that I was not alone; hacking occurs throughout the city, with many suggesting key fob hacking is the culprit. So I checked a bit and quickly discovered that hacking a key fob is the real thing . There are many methods, but the most common one is called “signal amplification”.

What is signal enhancement?

Unlike signal amplification of important information on social networks, “amplification” in this context means signal theft. Hackers can use a device that tricks the car and your key fob into thinking they are in close proximity to each other and then signal to unlock the key fob without touching any buttons on the key fob or car.

Signal amplification is commonly used to unlock a vehicle, but similar tactics can include keyless ignition vehicles. There are other ways of breaking key fob for remote access , such as rolljamming , which record and forge signal unlock your keyring, but it is much harder to implement. But all anyone needs to amplify the signal is equipment for about $ 20.

How to stop thieves from amplifying the signal of your car key fob

So how do you prevent a signal amplification attack? It’s not like you can enable two-factor login or install antivirus on your keychain. The solution is actually quite simple: block the signals from your key fob.

There are several ways to do this, but the Faraday bag is the most reliable. These bags create an electromagnetic barrier that prevents any signals from entering or exiting the bag , just like the “Faraday cages” after which the bags are named.

You can buy inexpensive Faraday bags, boxes and wallets online. Just put your keys (or other wireless devices you want to isolate) in your bag while you’re at home, especially at night.

If you don’t have a Faraday bag, it’s better to put your keys in a thick metal object, like a refrigerator or safe, than leaving them outdoors, but we cannot promise that this will block the hacker’s signal amplification as effectively as a Faraday bag. At least while you’re at home, keep your keys at the other end of the house. The further away the car keys and the more walls and other obstacles between them, the more difficult it will be to get to the signals.

Add other anti-theft protections to your Faraday bag, such as a claw on the steering wheel and security cameras, and the likelihood of someone breaking into your car and stealing it is much lower. Yes, and don’t keep spare keys, key fobs, garage door remotes or other valuables in your car. That way, if someone does manage to get inside (after all, the windows can be broken), they won’t have anything to steal.


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