Increase in Vehicle Theft Using Relay Attacks

In recent months, the Insurance Crime Bureau has seen an increase in thefts of newer model Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), that have keyless entry and ignition technology. This Modus Operandi sees criminal syndicates using “Relay Attacks” as method to steal these vehicles.

In essence, the key fob of a vehicle is constantly transmitting signals looking for the linked vehicle. The signal allows the driver to gain keyless entry and operation of the vehicle when the key is in close proximity to allow this functionality. By amplifying the signal, the perpetrators tap into the active emission of the key fob signal, allowing them to open and drive off with the vehicle.

The perpetrators work in teams. An individual in possession of the amplifying device walks close to the unsuspecting owner when they exit and leave the vehicle, while an accomplice at the vehicle gains access and drives off with it.

The best protection against relay attacks is to immediately deactivate the key fob when exiting the vehicle and while still next to it. Another option is to place the key fob in a signal blocking wallet or sheath.

The below links provide an overview of how a relay attack works, as well as advice on how to deactivate a key fob.

Overview on Relay Attacks

The public is being warned of a recent increase in vehicle thefts by criminal syndicates, using technology to hack their way in and drive off without any struggle or violence.

Click here to watch the video

Tips to Deactivate a Key Fob

Attention vehicle owners that have newer model keyless entry and ignition technology. Here are tips on how to help prevent your vehicle from being stolen using Relay Attacks.

Click here to watch the video

This bulletin is reproduced with thanks from the note sent out by the South African Insurance Crime Bureau. For more valuable information in the fight against crime, please go to

Article courtesy of: Mutual & Federal