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Keyless car hacking equipment to be banned as rise in thefts urges Government to act

By Tom Gibson | August 29, 2023

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In separate news two Premier League footballers get their stolen cars back after thefts

Keyless car hacking equipment to be banned as rise in thefts urges Government to act

Keyless car hacking equipment is set to be banned as the Government and police try to fight back against thieves.

With thefts up year on year by 25%, ministers are about to make it illegal to buy, sell, or be in possession of keyless repeaters, signal jammers and hacking technology.

The equipment is behind the majority of vehicle thefts in the UK, with over 130,389 reported last year alone.

Organised crime gangs are behind most car thefts and steal high-end cars to order for either straight export or to strip them for parts in so-called “chop shops”.

Luxury cars are quickly shipped to the Middle-East or Africa where they can be sold for up to three times the price of what they were bought for in the UK.

The cars are typically stolen through “relays” and “repeaters” that allow thieves to take a signal from a keyless fob and transmit it to another device that is then used to open the car.

Off-the-shelf jamming devices are then used to block the signals from GPS trackers in the cars and prevent them from being found.

Manufacturers have tightened security around thefts but technology allows criminals to use devices that can hack into the controller area networks of cars, allowing them to be unlocked without the key.

Essex Police released news of a ‘successful week’ over the weekend following the recovery of a Ferrari and a Range Rover Sport that were returned to two Premier League footballers after being found in shipping containers bound for Dubai.

Earlier this year, three men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods after vehicles worth £640,000 were found at an industrial estate. This is part of £16m worth of cars and parts that have been recovered in 2023.

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