The Reason You May Want To Start Wrapping Your Key Fob In Foil
July 10th, 2018
We've seen an increasing number of "hacks" since cars have started transitioning to remote start and key-less entry. So an ex-FBI agent shared the best way to protect your car from theft with The Tennessean.
The trick? Wrap car fobs in aluminum foil.
“Although it's not ideal, it is the most inexpensive way,” said Holly Hubert, a cybersecurity expert who retired in 2017 from the FBI. “The cyber threat is so dynamic and ever-changing, it’s hard for consumers to keep up.”
Hubert is now the CEO of GlobalSecurityIQ and she suggests clients go online and spend a few dollars and buy what’s called a Faraday bag (named for the scientist who figured out how to block an electromagnetic field) to shield the fob signal from potential theft. It's basically a traditional sandwich bag made of foil instead of plastic.
The biggest issue it that copying code from key fobs isn’t hard. And this is something the auto industry and insurance companies are monitoring closely and going to have to take into consideration for future designs. Thieves can buy legitimate devices that amplify the fob signal sitting unprotected in a purse, a pocket, on a counter at home.
Currently, thieves can capture fob signals from outside a home, office or hotel room. But the cheap (or homemade) metal protection covers can prevent thieves from having access to vehicles with a wireless fob. Hubert says the credit card holders some people are using don't work as effectively since they're a net rather than a wall.
Moshe Shlisel is the CEO of GuardKnox Cyber Technologies and a veteran of the Israeli Air Force and has helped develop cyber protection for fighter jets and missile defense systems. He held up his fob and said, “This should be something we don’t need to wrap with foil. It’s 2018. Car companies need to find a way so no one can replicate the messages and the communication between the key and the vehicle.”