Can you steal a car with just a laptop? ~ Ask The Admin

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Can you steal a car with just a laptop?

We read a report yesterday from AutoBlogGreen that essentially said that the magic secret code inside the modern key fobs has been cracked allowing for a remote user with a laptop and an hour can potentially unlock and start your vehicle. Among the list was Nisan whos systems happen to be identical to Infiniti - So We gave it a try on our FX35... Here is the original article followed by our experiences.

Here at AutoblogGreen, we just love the fuel-efficient Prius. We love it so much, we almost want to break into every one we see and drive them away. The Prius has a pretty good anti-theft system... and stealing cars is not legal. The Supreme Court has not yet legalized theft but the code for opening the Prius has been broken. One down, one to go.Research groups are claiming they cracked Keeloq, the security system used in key fobs by Toyota as well as GM, VW, Fiat, Chrysler, Daewoo, Honda, Jaguar, and Volvo. Seems some things were leaked to a Russian hacking website allowing the researcher to open the door and start the car. It takes an hour, so if you see a college kid with a lap top hanging around our Prius... for a really long time, he might be trying to steal it.

We worked with a friend of ours who wishes to remain anonymous - he got his laptop booted up and we sat in front of my car on the curb. Using Custom KeeLoq Software and a Russian PDF He showed me how it should work and the stupidity behind the security. But would you expect anything less from the major industries? All I can say is after two hours we were no closer to starting the vehicle or opening the doors. But we were questioned by police - which I thought was odd. They actually made me show them I had the keys to the car.

I went online and read this bit from Wired:

This doesn't mean Dunkelman can just walk onto a parking lot and open any car that's the same model of the one he cracked. He still needs to crack the unique key used to open the other cars. But because he already knows the 36 bits that are common to all of the keys for one model of car, it takes only a few seconds to crack those other keys. He can do this by reading the keys wirelessly -- for example, while sitting next to a patron at a restaurant or standing near a car when an owner opens it and sniffing the communication between the digital key and the car. Once he has a key's unique code, he can encode it to a chip in a remote device (which he can do in a couple of seconds in the field) and use it to open and steal the car.

So we tried sniffing the key and trying to duplicate the actual key fob to get it to work from the laptop. We were unable to do this either. So either we call Shananigans or we want to see it in action. Or the Infiniti is really different from the Nisan - Anyone?