In a letter to The Telegraph, a concerned EV owner raised questions about the security of electronic key fobs and car key apps. The owner, identified as TB, expressed fear that key fob signal interception could make their £43,000 motor susceptible to theft. They pondered whether using the Hyundai app on their smartphone instead of the key fob would offer better security for their Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Thieves have been known to use relay interceptors, devices that copy the signal from an electronic key fob, enabling them to unlock the car’s doors and even start its engine in a matter of seconds if the car has keyless ignition. To counteract this, car manufacturers are increasingly relying on smartphone apps as a substitute for electronic fobs. However, this introduces a new security concern as hackers could gain access to the smartphone and use the stolen information to set up the app on their own phone, potentially enabling them to carry out relay attacks.
If a phone is hacked or stolen, the perpetrators may also gain access to the car’s Vehicle Identification Number and passwords, further compromising the owner’s security. For those concerned about theft, some brands offer the option of purchasing a physical key fob for an additional fee.
To address the rising issue of relay theft, the government is reportedly planning to take action, including prosecuting individuals found to possess relay devices without a lawful reason. This development comes in light of recent discussions on the potential dangers of EVs compared to petrol cars in case of fire.
It is important for EV owners to remain aware of the security vulnerabilities associated with key fobs and car key apps and take necessary precautions to protect their vehicles from theft.
– The Telegraph