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Many new cars are equipped with a keyless entry system. It means that the traditional key is replaced by a small device that emits a radio wave, enabling you to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle without needing to take the key out of your pocket.

It’s very convenient.

It is also very convenient for criminals.

While you sleep, they can stand outside your home and use two small devices (called a relay amplifier and a relay transmitter) to pick up the signal from the keyless device and retransmit to the vehicle in your driveway, enabling them to drive the vehicle away. Apparently it is the reason why car thefts are on the rise, even though most cars are now protected with alarms and immobilisers.

A simple security measure to defend against this type of attack is to store the keys in a metal container (e.g a biscuit tin), as the metal blocks the radio waves.

Another approach is to wrap the keys in tin foil, if only because it allows me to say that tin foil can foil this crime..

What has this got to do with cyber security?

Don’t underestimate the significant benefits of simple security measures.