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Discussion Starter #1
I recently read a few reports on the keyless entry systems for modern cars. Here is a report of the issue (the report was actually 4 years ago): This forum does not allow me posting a link, so please google search "Vulnerability In Car Keyless Entry Systems Allows Anyone To Open And Steal Your Vehicle" on Forbes.

For my newly purchased 2019 MDX SH-AWD, I actually tried aluminum foil bag, metal container for tea, stainless steel containers etc. My results show that stainless steel is the best and the aluminum foils/tea metal container (probably aluminum made) are pretty much useless.

In Amazon, people were also talking about the Faraday pouch and many reported that these products soon lost shielding capability probably due to metal worn.

Any one has better suggestion?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I pay for insurance for precisely this reason and see no reason to further self-insure. Just something to think about.
I bet no one wants the homeless/burglars to be able to get into the car freely and mess up inside although not stealing the car (yet), right? Will the insurance cover that? Not to mention that, in such cases, it's hard to prove the car was locked and claim the loss of small belongings.
 

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I bet no one wants the homeless/burglars to be able to get into the car freely and mess up inside although not stealing the car (yet), right? Will the insurance cover that? Not to mention that, in such cases, it's hard to prove the car was locked and claim the loss of small belongings.
If someone wants something inside your car, there's no reason to go through the time, energy, effort or expense of trying to hack the keyless entry when you can just take a crowbar to a window.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have metal tool boxes in my garage. When I park outside, the fob goes in a drawer.
At home, that's a good practice. However, what if we drive to work, to restaurant, to hotel etc. and someone has the key RF relay device can still easily open the car? The car manufacturers should give us an option to disable this keyless entry system unless the remote key button is pressed. I would rather to use the older press-the-key-open-the-car way.
 

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I place the FOB in the same locations in the house every night but have noticed that every now and then, maybe once every few weeks or so, in the middle of the night (and maybe the day), the interior lights on the MDX come on - likely from it thinking the FOB is in close proximity to it to turn them on. The closest FOB is inside the house about 3 times the distance from which I normally have to be from the vehicle when outside. I think it must be due to just some random atmospheric conditions.

The immediate solution is to place the FOB inside a metal cage that will attenuate the signal to where it can't be leveraged.

A simple solution for a new design is to require the FOB be held by a human, or at least moved within the last few seconds, before it'll transmit any signal. This is a cheap and easy thing to do for a new design and would eliminate the possibility of hacking via a signal amplifier, which is how many of these are being done.
 

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If someone wants something inside your car, there's no reason to go through the time, energy, effort or expense of trying to hack the keyless entry when you can just take a crowbar to a window.
Most of the breakins in my area are nearly 99% unlocked cars. The other 1% are a broken window. My wife loves the convenience of the easy button press lock, so finding the car unlocked these days hasn't happened on the MDX. Except for bullet proof glass, a simple brick defeats any security for anything inside the vehicle.
 

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A simple solution for a new design is to require the FOB be held by a human, or at least moved within the last few seconds, before it'll transmit any signal. This is a cheap and easy thing to do for a new design and would eliminate the possibility of hacking via a signal amplifier, which is how many of these are being done.
Definitely! If they can track steps with a watch accelerometer, they can easily model all kinds of human vectors related to movement and proximity. Most of the vulnerability is just related to ease of use design and simplistic reliability in as many test case scenarios as possible.
 

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For my newly purchased 2019 MDX SH-AWD, I actually tried aluminum foil bag, metal container for tea, stainless steel containers etc. My results show that stainless steel is the best and the aluminum foils/tea metal container (probably aluminum made) are pretty much useless.

In Amazon, people were also talking about the Faraday pouch and many reported that these products soon lost shielding capability probably due to metal worn.

Any one has better suggestion?
A certified EMI shielded container works best.

The biggest problems with shielding a high frequency are mainly the conductivity of the enclosure and the thickness of the shield. It is hard to make the enclosure edges highly conductive. Metal seams, like the seal between a lid and base on a metal container are rarely conductive enough. A painted lid from a standard mint box is not effectively conductive for shielding. For a 315Mhz signal, the 1/4 wavelength is around 9 inches, so a metal box lid with a similar size perimeter makes an excellent antenna.

The other problem is thickness. Even though a conductive surface diminishes a signal passing through it, the reduction is a factor of the thickness, such that aluminum foil will probably not prevent transfer.
 

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At home, that's a good practice. However, what if we drive to work, to restaurant, to hotel etc. and someone has the key RF relay device can still easily open the car? The car manufacturers should give us an option to disable this keyless entry system unless the remote key button is pressed. I would rather to use the older press-the-key-open-the-car way.
I hope you realize that the older "press-the-key-open-the-car way" is still using RF to give the car an ability to use that button to unlock the car. The only way around your worries is to go to the old "turn-you-key-in-the-lock-core" method, and that is also relatively easy to pick. So, pick your poison.

Manufacturers shorten the detection range for the keyfob unlock detection, but the hack acts as a repeater/amplifier for the RF signal. So, even if you're standing way out of range for your fob to be detected by the vehicle, their device can just be boosted for additional range.

Tesla started using NFC to activate a BT key from your phone or the physical key card and they have shorter range, but BT also has its vulnerabilities where if you can capture the BT signal, you can duplicate the key. I suppose they could use fingerprint detection, but then depending on the quality of the reader, a gummy bear with your fingerprint on it or the taped fingerprint on a glove can bypass that. Retina is probably more secure, but the hardware is expensive and bulky, and I don't see many people wanting to put their keys against their dirty ass car to unlock it.

There are ways around everything to be honest. It just depends on how enticing you make your things for thieves.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A certified EMI shielded container works best.

The biggest problems with shielding a high frequency are mainly the conductivity of the enclosure and the thickness of the shield. It is hard to make the enclosure edges highly conductive. Metal seams, like the seal between a lid and base on a metal container are rarely conductive enough. A painted lid from a standard mint box is not effectively conductive for shielding. For a 315Mhz signal, the 1/4 wavelength is around 9 inches, so a metal box lid with a similar size perimeter makes an excellent antenna.

The other problem is thickness. Even though a conductive surface diminishes a signal passing through it, the reduction is a factor of the thickness, such that aluminum foil will probably not prevent transfer.
Thank you for the technical detail -- that refreshes my General Physics:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Manufacturers shorten the detection range for the keyfob unlock detection, but the hack acts as a repeater/amplifier for the RF signal. So, even if you're standing way out of range for your fob to be detected by the vehicle, their device can just be boosted for additional range.
That's exactly why this kind of FOB is vulnerable -- because the car does not calculate the actual distance of the FOB and just simply opens the door when it gets the signal. The FOB wavelength may need to be shortened in order to make the calculation of distance possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Get a viper.
Thanks for the info. A couple of questions:
1. Will installing viper invalidate the warranty?
2. How is the viper FOB different from original MDX FOB? Does it always require press-a-button-open-the-door?
3. What would clients do with their original FOBs?
 

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Thanks for the info. A couple of questions:
1. Will installing viper invalidate the warranty?
2. How is the viper FOB different from original MDX FOB? Does it always require press-a-button-open-the-door?
3. What would clients do with their original FOBs?
1.No
2. Not sure technology wise. You need to have the MDX fob with you. And you can open the door with just the handle as if you didn't have the Viper. You can also perform full functions with either the MDX or Viper FOB.
 

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A few years ago someone had the device and was stealing MDXes in Toronto - long thread on that here at the time. You might be interested in reading it. It is far more likely that my car will be the victim of a smash and grab than such a high tech theft. I would be more concerned if I lived in a large urban area where professional car thieves can operate undetected. Certainly if I thought someone was operating with such a device here I would be taking measures to shield the fob.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A few years ago someone had the device and was stealing MDXes in Toronto - long thread on that here at the time. You might be interested in reading it. It is far more likely that my car will be the victim of a smash and grab than such a high tech theft. I would be more concerned if I lived in a large urban area where professional car thieves can operate undetected. Certainly if I thought someone was operating with such a device here I would be taking measures to shield the fob.
My neighborhood area had a few cases reported recently: a few Toyota Prius doors were opened when the cars were parked on driveway or streets outside home. Owners were sure that they locked their cars. Someone even saw thieves used a handheld device to open the car. It's sad and scary to see this used-to-be high tech method spreading out and threatening current keyless entry systems.
 
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