Seven ways hackers can steal your keyless car in seconds
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Are you in danger of seeing your treasured car being stolen off your driveway, even without criminals having the key?
The rise of keyless cars - where instead of the traditional key being inserted, cars are opened with a remote fob and started by button - has triggered a wave of thefts, as criminals trick vehicles into believing the key fob is present.
There has been a 19 per cent increase in car crime and a 29 per cent surge in crimes in the UK related to vehicle interference since 2014, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Price comparison website MoneySupermarket looked into car hacking and has revealed the seven sneaky ways a criminal can hack your car.
A significant contributing factor to the rise in vehicle crime, after a period of decline, is the new technology that allows car hackers to gain access to vehicles remotely, says MoneySupermarket.
Worryingly, its study found many of the different methods used by criminals to gain access to vehicles illegally was not known to the majority of the public.
Nearly all drivers were unaware of all the major digital hacking threats their car might face.
More than three in five said they wouldn't buy a keyless car because of hacking concerns.
In an effort to prevent further crime and raise awareness, MoneySupermarket have highlighted the various ways criminals can hack into your car as well how to protect yourself from vehicle crime.
Keyless car owners are also being encouraged to check through their car insurance policy thoroughly to determine what they may or may not be covered for.
Four in five drivers were not aware if they would be covered by their car insurance if they were hacked.
There can be confusion when trying to understand who is liable at what point - is it the driver, the car manufacturer or the maker of the on-board computers?
The Government and insurers are currently working out how to cover autonomous vehicles to resolve any unanswered questions, according to the comparison site.
At present, in terms of insurance, MoneySupermarket says:
Drivers will have one insurance policy that covers the vehicle when it is driven manually as well as when it is in autonomous mode.
If the driver of an autonomous vehicle causes injury or damage to a third party, that party can claim against the driver's insurer regardless of what mode the car was in when the accident occurred.
Drivers won't be held responsible for faults in the car's systems, and they will be able to claim if they are injured or suffer loss because of a fault in the car.
With regards to hacking ('relaying') a car, insurers will pay out if the occasion arises as long as the owner of the vehicle has taken reasonable steps to protect their car.
It is possible that certain insurance premiums could rise depending on if a particular make of car is regularly targeted.
Tom Flack, editor-in-chief at MoneySupermarket, said: "Car hacking is little understood but a very real threat."
"Manufacturers are adding increasing amounts of technology to our vehicles, and new technology comes with new risks that drivers need to understand and guard against.
"As far as hacking activity such as keyless theft - so-called 'relaying' - is concerned, insurers will pay out providing the owner/driver has taken reasonable care to protect their property.
"Owners of cars deemed by insurers to be a particular risk of keyless theft may find they are charged higher premiums as a result."
Despite a large number of drivers not knowing if they would be covered by insurance, 16 per cent claim they know someone who has fallen victim to car hacking.
Only 19 per cent of drivers currently protect their cars from hacking by putting into place simple measures such as placing their keys in the microwave or in a Faraday cage - a device that shields its contents from static electric fields - stopping would-be hackers from accessing their signal.
These signal blocking pouches can be bought for a few pounds online.
"We recommend fully researching a vehicle and its capabilities and limitations before purchase, and getting to know a vehicle you already own to make sure you're aware of any potential security flaws.
"Sometimes an old-fashioned security method, such as a steering lock, can be all that's needed to protect against criminals."
- Daily Mail