There’s increasing Internet chatter from cybersecurity experts advising to wrap car fobs in aluminum foil or faraday pouches to thwart car thieves. But is there any validity to this caution?
Several cybersecurity researchers and an ex-FBI agent say “yes”. Thieves can intercept fob signals from outside a home, office, or on the street using a hack commonly known as a “relay hack”. It allows two radios nearby to communicate with both the car’s key and the car.
By intercepting the key fob’s signal, the hackers can unlock the car and start the vehicle all while the owner has no idea. It’s not a widespread problem as yet, but the tools for carrying out the hack and theft are becoming more readily available and cheaper.
So what to do to prevent this? It’s easy, but not that pretty. Simply wrap your key fob in aluminum foil. Some people advise stashing their fobs in metal coffee cans. It should be noted that a RFID card holder won’t do the trick, as these are not strong enough blockers and have an opening.
Whereas a RFID card holder won’t do the trick, a faraday pouch should. And if you don’t want to pay the money for a pouch, a tin and/or aluminum foil should do the trick. But the best way to check if it does work is to secure the fob and then try and open your car. If you can get in, so can hackers.
To find out more about this new way to steal a car, watch the video below.
In this longer video, the YouTuber shows the proximity keys and gives a longer demonstration on how and what to do to protect your key fobs and car.