During the first hours of last sunday’s morning, two masked cybercriminals began to prowl around a Tesla Model S in Essex, England.

The digital forensic expert Anthony Kennedy suffered the robbery of his Tesla Model S, valued approximately between 92 and 200 millions of euros. The criminals didn’t need much time to trespass the security of the “no key car”.

Examining the video of the robbery, it seems that the criminales used a “relay attack”, in which an intelligent key chain signal( in this case, out of reach from the vehicle inside Kennedy’s house) it’s copied and moves to a nearly location of the car.

Knowing the fact that Tesla Models S, like other luxurious cars,  can be automatically unlocked when they detect that someone with the authorized key chain is near, it can be stolen in seconds.

These “passive entry” systems can be advisable, besides they are flashy and luxurious, but if a thief is able to copy the signal of your keychain and is capable of entering and steal your car, you may want to reconsider using this kind of systems.

Digital forensic experts say that a Tesla vehicle with a GPS signal could be tracked by the police using an application to retrieve the vehicle. It may work, but only if the criminals haven’t blocked the GPS signal.

It may be late for Anthony Kennedy, but the digital forensic experts give some solutions to protect the cars with entry systems and switch without key.

  • Enable a new function of entering a PIN to turn on the car.
  • When no using the keychain, keep it on a case with RFID blocking to cut off non authorized electromagnetic signals.
  • Not enabling the passive entry function.

Kennedy tried to contact Elon Musk via Twitter, the Tesla owner, to question how easy is to dodge the security systems of his cars.

“My Tesla was stolen only with a tablet and a phone to extend the range of my keychain. I know i should have enabled the PIN access. However, i would have liked that the criminals had it harder to gain access to my car.”, said Kennedy in a twit.

Elon Musk haven’t replied yet.

 

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