There continue to be warnings about the vulnerabilities that keyless entry systems pose to vehicle security. Particularly when it comes to the issue of theft.
Keyless Car Theft on the Increase
Whilst there are no exact figures detailing how many thefts of vehicles with keyless entry systems there have been, figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggest vehicle theft has been steadily increasing in recent years and insurance costs associated with vehicle theft rose 29% between 2017-2018.
The concern around keyless car entry systems focuses on the fact that it is possible for criminals to extend the signal from the key fob, effectively fooling the car in to thinking that the key is present (when in fact it isn’t and may be in the owners home for example), allowing the vehicle to be unlocked and started. This is also known as a ‘relay attack’.
Car ratings affected by security concerns
Thatcham, the research centre specialising in vehicle safety and security, have recently put even more of a spotlight on this vulnerability, releasing a new security rating. The security rating aims to give additional details about vehicle security and in particular highlight which vehicles are vulnerable to the ‘relay attack’.
The rating is set to be applied to new vehicles being manufactured, with those launched since the start of 2019 being the first to receive a rating. It is thought ratings could plummet with 6 of the 11 vehicles rated so far being given a ‘Poor’ or ‘Unacceptable’ security rating.
As well as providing useful information to those looking to buy a new vehicle, the Thatcham Security rating may also put the focus back on car manufacturers to ensure that any technology developed keeps security at the forefront and aims to fix any potential vulnerabilities.
Whilst any security flaw in a vehicle is of concern, having access to information such as that supplied by Thatcham if you are purchasing a new car and taking some precautionary steps such as ensuring keys are kept in a sensible place within your house can help protect your vehicle. If you have any questions about your vehicle or insurance then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.