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Can your car be broken into with another car’s key fob?

Can your car be broken into with another car's key fob?  - Photo 1.

If you’re the owner of one of the billions of cars in the world, just thinking about someone breaking into your car is a nightmare. But don’t worry, because the truth is that unless you’re a crook with all sorts of sophisticated code blocking devices, the average person won’t be able to unlock your car with their remote.

The handheld device you use to open your car, also known as a key fob, has evolved tremendously since the 1950s when remote control technology was first used to open garage doors. Back in those days, science was very rudimentary and all remote key fobs sent out the same signal. This means that with just one key fob, you can open a lot of doors, wherever you want.

However, when it comes to cars, remote door opening systems have evolved a bit. The manufacturers have devised a system in which each vehicle has its own unique code and cannot be used in conjunction with any other vehicle. While this is a significant improvement in safety over its predecessors, there is still a major security issue facing car owners. The codes are not diverse so it is easy for hackers to steal and use to unlock your car in minutes. Thankfully, times have changed, and manufacturers have come up with better ways to keep each vehicle safe.

Key fob using rolling code technology

Since the mid-1990s, automakers have used rolling code technology, also known as hopping code, in keyless door locking systems. This code technology has replaced the single codes that were used before and made it harder for criminals to steal cars. Because, this rolling code technology works by synchronizing the transmitter found inside your remote, with a control chip located in the receiver in your car. By working together, they can generate new random codes every time you lock or unlock your car. Basically, it can be understood that rolling code technology is that every time a control is pressed, the algorithm will generate a different and not identical code. This means there could be billions or even trillions of possibilities what the next code will be.

Can your car be broken into with another car's key fob?  - Photo 2.

With this encryption technology, you will never have to worry about your car. In addition, the technology will also prevent thieves using stealthy code grabbers that can intercept and copy the signal from the remote so they can break into your vehicle.

Actively protect the car from thieves

However, rolling code isn’t completely scam-proof, and you should be extra vigilant if you own a car – especially if you have a car that doesn’t have keys. “Hackers and criminals are getting more sophisticated,” said Doug Shuppe of the American Automobile Association. He explained that there are new hacking devices that can amplify the signal of transmitters and make it easier than ever for them to break into your car.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Slashgear has introduced a tool that adds additional safety for car owners, which is the Faraday bag. The bag type is said to be very effective as its copper foil lining is very active in blocking all fob signals. It’s like when your phone goes into airplane mode and can’t give out any signal. You can also put the fob in a metal or tin can if you’re at home. Another more practical tip is to leave valuables in the car so as not to attract criminals in the first place.

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