What is keyless theft and how does it work?

Keyless entry is a convenient way to unlock and lock your vehicle but with its ease of use comes an added vulnerability for your vehicle.


In recent years there has been a surge in vehicle theft with most vehicles that are stolen being keyless entry. Why is this? Keyless entry was designed to make our lives easier and to make our cars smarter, however, with smarter cars comes smarter thieves and relay theft is one of the fastest ways to steal a vehicle.


What is keyless entry?

Keyless entry allows the vehicle to be locked and unlocked without having to physically use your key.


Your vehicle will recognise that the keys are nearby and automatically unlock the car when you go to open the door.


What is keyless theft?

Keyless theft, also known as relay theft, works using short-range radio waves. The key will transmit a signal which is then picked up by the receiver in your car.


This type of theft tricks your car into thinking that your keys are physically present.


Thieves, working in pairs or more, will target a car usually parked outside of a house.

One thief will stand close to your house with the device, which boosts the signal from your car keys. The other thief, standing close to your vehicle with a second device, will use the signal to then unlock your car.


The car has been easily fooled, thinking that the keys are nearby when they are not.


How far away can thieves be from the keys in order to steal my vehicle?

Thieves only need to be within a few metres from your car keys to capture the signal. This means your vehicle can be left vulnerable by placing your keys in your home anywhere thieves can stand a few metres away from.


How does the CAN-phantom prevent keyless theft?

The CAN-phantom prevents keyless theft as the device doesn't allow the vehicle to turn on until a PIN code has been entered. This means that relay theft does not work with the CAN-phantom, as thieves can not use relays to trick the vehicle into thinking the keys are nearby for the engine to start.


This also means that if you thief has the vehicle's keys, they can not start the vehicle as it will simply not turn the engine on until the PIN has been entered.


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