New Security Concerns Regarding Push-to-Start Systems

Earlier this month, USA Today released a story which claimed that keeping your push-to-start fob inside of a refrigerator or freezer when you vehicle is not in use can actually make your vehicle more secure. Most people would scoff at this advise, however there is some truth to the statement. However, to understand how a refrigerator or freezer can keep your vehicle more secure, you must take a look at the security system involved with a push-to-start vehicle.

Push-to-Start Security System

In a vehicle with a push-to-start system car owners are able to open their doors and start the car without having to use a key blade. This offers a great deal of convenience to the vehicle owner, however it can also help a thief to steal that same vehicle. The push-to-start fob for one of these vehicles must be able to communicate with the signal that is emanating from the car’s computer. Generally the range of this signal is just a few inches. This would mean that whoever was accessing the vehicle would likely need to have the fob in their hand or pocket in order to gain access. Unfortunately thieves are finding ways to increase the signal strength coming from the car’s computer.

As reported by USA Today, thieves can purchase a power amplifier for less than $20 online. This power amplifier can take the few inches of signal provided by the vehicle’s computer and send that signal to a length of 100 meters. If a thief was using a power amplifier, this would mean that your fob could be safe in your home, but still close enough to the vehicle to allow a thief to take control. So the question is; where do refrigerators and freezers come into play?

View below as two thieves use a power amplifier to gain entry to a vehicle parked in a driveway.


Possible Security Precautions

Due to the metal frame of a refrigerator, signal from the car’s computer would be blocked. This would mean that no matter how strongly the signal is amplified, thieves will not be able to get into your vehicle. However, in offering this advice USA Today looked past one crucial bit of information. The cold of a refrigerator will drain the battery inside of your car fob resulting in the need for a new battery earlier than expected. Phila-Locksmith recommends that to protect your push-to-start vehicle from break-in to wrap your fob in aluminum foil. By wrapping your fob in aluminum foil while it is not in use you are able to prevent against this break-in threat while also maintaining the longest battery life possible.

Now that vehicle manufacturers are aware of this security loophole it will be interesting to see how they will respond. Automotive thieves are constantly trying to get a leg-up on manufacturers which seems to now be happening with push-to-start systems. No matter what car manufacturers do, it seems that thieves will have their own strategies for compromising security not long after the security’s introduction to the market.

This blog post had been provided by Phila-Locksmith for the benefit of our customers, as well as the residents of the Delaware Valley. The Delaware Valley can turn to Phila-Locksmith whenever they may need a car locksmith to provide them with service for a push-to-start vehicle. With all of the tools and training necessary to provide you with service on these systems, Phila-Locksmith is the one company to choose for your vehicle.

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2 Responses to New Security Concerns Regarding Push-to-Start Systems

  1. Pingback: Locksmith Service Got More Advanced And Technology-Supported Now | Juan Mayes' Blog

  2. Pingback: Smart Phones the Car Key of the Future? Not So Fast | Phila-Locksmith

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