Car thieves have developed methods to bypass their digital locks since the advent of fobs that automatically unlock and start cars, and security measures have been implemented in response. The situation resembles the cat-and-mouse game between hackers and security in the IT industry.
Recently, inexpensive electronic devices have been developed that allow thieves to replicate a fob's proximity sensor signal from within a few meters, allowing the accomplice to open and start it. Expensive luxury automobiles more likely to use proximity sensors are obvious targets.
When not using your fobs, police and manufacturers advise that you store them away from your vehicles and from doors and windows. Sellers also offer pouches lined with metal or wire mesh to prevent signal interference.
The present measures for Edmund King, the president of the British Automobile Association (AA), aren't enough, according to The Telegraph. This week, King told The Telegraph that thieves stole his wife's 50,000 GBP Lexus, despite her fob being hidden in a metal box in the house farthest from the car.
King has begun storing the fob, bag, and box in his microwave oven. Even if this strategy works, it is certainly impractical. A more robust container shielding material is logical, although it may be more expensive.
King has also resorted to an older car security system that was popular in the 1990s, called a steering wheel lock. He's considering installing a security post and a gate at the entrance to his driveway, which for most is prohibitively expensive.
The root of the problem is the driver's obligation to expose the fob when entering or exiting the vehicle. King suspects someone received the signal from his wife's fob while she parked the vehicle afterobserving their daily routine.
The ultimate solution may be to disable the proximity sensor, which many fobs allow. King believes car manufacturers should always inform customers about this possibility.