Archives For auto security

Remember the story we brought you in early July about BMWs disappearing (being stolen actually) in less than three minutes?

Well if you don’t, here’s a quick recap — car thieves in the U.K. used an over-the-counter key fob to bypass the security systems of several BMWs in a matter of minutes. The fob was able to deactivate the luxury cars’ current settings so criminals could make a quick getaway and not leave a trace of evidence that the car was stolen.

Worried that BMW doesn’t care if your $30,000 investment is growing feet and running off in the middle of the night? Well rest easy, because BMW is making some serious changes to ensure that your luxury vehicle is protected.

In a statement, BMW made it clear that they want to ensure the protection of their customer’s vehicles: “All our cars meet all security standards and regulations, but as responsible manufacturers we are looking at ways of mitigating against this new kind of attack.”

The automaker said that actions they’re taking include enhancing the security on models previous to the 2011 series, and contacting owners to ensure they get the necessary work taken care of on their vehicle.

Don’t be a victim of this high-tech crime — replace that standard security system and protect your $30,000-plus investment!

Remember that we told you back in July that there’s a lesson here for car owners: Thieves will always find a way to get into your car – what you need is real-time awareness of when/where someone tries to violate your vehicle.

We asked our engineers and experts here for the best tips on just what these criminals are doing and how car owners can fight back against them.

They told us:

Number 1.      In order to steal a car, the thief doesn’t need to reprogram the key right away. The criminal just needs to bypass the vehicle immobilizer quickly using potentially bulkier equipment — and drive away. Key reprogramming can be dealt with later at a secure location with less time constraint (let’s say 15-30 minutes).

Number 2.      BMW security has a hole: It employs a relatively weak, 48-bit Hitag system that can be hacked in under 3 minutes using computer hardware costing less than $10,000. There is also a known weakness in the randomization of the security key and its dependency on the CAS (one of the vehicle’s modules) dump. Such a dump is available over OBD connector. In other words, all components for a system are available on the Internet and putting the system together does not require a lot of technical skill.

Our experts were quite sure that BWM engineers are well aware of these shortcomings and are working on tighter the security and probably on upgrading their encryption method as well. That will address BMW’s security issue — but also will make any key-cracking job harder.

Number 3.      In order to deploy such a system, one needs to bypass the vehicle alarm system. The OEM one-way security is susceptible to jamming while more sophisticated two-way systems provide real-time status feedback and have additional sensors, etc.

Get connected to your vehicle and get ahead of the criminals: Thieves will always find a way to get into your car – what you need is real-time awareness of when/where someone tries to violate your vehicle.

Watch a BMW go in under 3 minutes and a BBC report here:

BMW Owners Hit by High-Tech Theft

See the whole quick-as-lightening BMW theft video below:

We’re sure someone, somewhere in the world has failed to follow “the steps” to take after they’ve had the misfortune to have their car stolen. But seriously, do we need a list? Well, apparently so.

In 2010, auto thefts cost U.S. drivers about $4.5 billion. Although, in 2012 there has been a 3.3 percent reduction in the number of auto thefts, but that DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T EXIST ANYMORE. People get their cars stolen every day!

Now have you ever had one of those sleep-deprived days … or gotten lazy? Or maybe you parked in an unsafe area or didn’t lock your car one time and you come back to the spot to find it empty? Here is what you do.

According to this recent list from Jalopnik:

1: Make sure your car’s actually gone!  (We did say if you were having one of those sleep-deprived days, didn’t we??)

2: Now that you pinched yourself and realized you AREN’T just having a nightmare, you move on to the next step. Ask yourself if it might have been towed.

3: You should probably notify the police, right?

4: Call your vehicle security provider (if you’re lucky you have information from a Viper SmartStartGPS unit that you can relay to them).

5: Ask people nearby if they saw anything.

6: FREAK OUT. This would be a perfectly appropriate moment to let your emotions flow out. Don’t get too crazy now; you will soon be surrounded by the police!

7: Call your insurance company.

8: Look for your car online. It’s not too unlikely the thief had alternative motives, other than ruining your life, for stealing your car! Money perhaps? Maybe you can re-purchase your car vehicle and bag the crook!

9: *Sniff Sniff … Start looking for a replacement! *Sniff

10: Lastly, but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST. Learn from your mistakes!

We like this last nugget of advice the best: “Learn from it”! As in, don’t skimp on car security. And then maybe you won’t have to read the other recommendations.

Be smart, and make a vow to never have to follow these steps. EVER. Get your car protected! Choose Viper!

To read the full Jalopnik article, click here.

If you have a new car with all the latest high-tech innovations then you have less to fear about car theft!

No promises, of course. But after seeing the Top 10 list of most-stolen vehicles filled with sedans and American pickups it seems the thieves are giving up their computer-hacking days and going after the older cars with no chance of computer chips to track them down.

And that’s … a pretty smart move.

Although the thieves are stealing older versions of the newer cars, that doesn’t mean they don’t get caught because of the newer tech. It is now more common than ever for people to track down their stolen cars because they left their iPhone in their car and it has a “Find my Phone” app.

Although that can work as a freak-accident safety for your car — would you really want to take that risk??

The top 5 most-stolen vehicles are:

5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
4. 1991 Toyota Camry
3. 2006 Ford F-150
2. 1998 Honda Civic

And, drum roll, please! The top stolen vehicle is the…

1. The 1994 Honda Accord!!

If you have any of those cars, either cross your fingers it doesn’t get stolen, or get yourself an alarm system. Preferably one of the Viper systems, just to be on the safe side.

Check out the rest of the top 10 most-stolen vehicles and make sure yours isn’t on this list from Yahoo/Motoramic:

Top 10 list of most-stolen vehicles filled with foreign sedans, American pickups

The 2005 Cadillac Escalade.
Credit: Wikipedia

Why would an Escalade owner would spend all that money for a luxury SUV and not add on a first-rate security system?

All they have to do is call a Viper dealer. Better than letting someone stroll off with your vehicle. See this, uh, alarming (or lack thereof) news report.

Pretty Crazy huh? Who would have thought it would have been that easy to dismantle a vehicle so it could just be pushed away by a pickup truck — and GONE in 14 seconds. Even worse, the fact that these vehicle are so easily stripped of all their luxury features. I guess OnStar won’t be much help when these things go missing.

Depending on which study you read, the Escalade may or may not be the top stolen vehicle. But according to the Highway Loss Data Institute it has “dominated the HLDI’s list for most theft claims” — which is what led GM to add various security enhancements.  Hopefully these new features will stop these SUV’s from being pushed away like shopping carts.

Check out this full story from Insideline.com for more on the 2012 Escalade’s beefed-up security features:

2012 Cadillac Escalade Gets Beefed-Up Security Features To Stymie Thieves

OK, Viper fans, time for us to give you one more behind-the-scenes exclusive.

Just in time for the Fourth of July, we’ve got some shots of installs on two cars all set to roll out to some holiday barbeques.

The first set is photos of a push-button install on a Nissan Altima, and the second is of a top-secret not-yet-released product install on a Honda Accord!

(Omg, sssshhhhh!!!)

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[Check out the full gallery of photos on our Facebook page.]