High-tech car theft: How to hack a car (CBC Marketplace)

High-tech car theft: How to hack a car (CBC Marketplace)


>>Charslie: We are in the middle of a mystery… Trying to track down a device that could be making these cars, and yours, open to attack by thieves. Our search for that device is about to uncover a surprising new world of cars and crime. Watch this home security video. It’s the middle of the night in Long Beach, California. Two suspects approach two cars parked in someone’s driveway. With little effort, the first man opens the first vehicle and in he goes. The second man approaches the other vehicle, and with a slight pause, he too is in. He seems to have something in his hand. Could that be the mystery device?>>Long Beach police department is baffled by a series of high-tech auto thefts.>>Charslie: Across the continent.>>NBC 5 has learned of a new way thieves are breaking into your cars.>>Charslie: The same scenario and the same results.>>It is crime catching on here in Winnipeg. And we have video of it.>>Charslie: It’s like they have their own keys.>>One guy has something in his hand. Then he walks over to the Toyota. And, bingo, it opens.>>Charslie: So, how do they do it? [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: Our trail leads us to Washington. And to some victims of car theft –>>Show time.>>Charslie: Who happen to be two of our very own colleagues. [ Speaking in French >>Charslie: Christian Latrielle and Marcel Calfat work for Radio-Canada, the French side of CBC. They were on assignment when they found themselves in the middle of a crime story. So take me back. What was happening that day?>>It was the last day of our shoot. So we had checked out of the hotel, packed the van with everything, all our equipment, our personal luggage, and we had one more interview to do. As I was leaving, I just turned around and with the zapper just locked the door. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: A witness tells them soon after they left, a man approached the van and circled it. The man opened the van, no problem, as if he had a key. And within minutes, emptied it.>>And me and the cameraman, we opened the trunk. When he opened the trunk, I couldn’t believe that the material, the equipment wasn’t there anymore. It was like a dream. You know? I went foggy. It took me a few seconds to realize that everything was gone.>>Charslie: This list shows they lost about $30,000 in equipment and personal items. Did police have any theories about what may have happened?>>When the patrol car came, oh yeah, yeah, they probably stole your — the wavelengths or whatever. I said, what are you talking about? I had never heard of this. They said yeah, happens all the time, where they can grab your signal when you’re trying to lock the car and after that, they just open it.>>Charslie: This is something that happened in California.>>That was easier than I thought.>>Charslie: Were you surprised it’s that easy?>>That’s amazing. No hesitation. Just poof, open the door.>>Charslie: Had these suspects also captured signals using them here to unlock these cars? Police aren’t sure. The internet, though, is filled with theories, products and videos that claim to know the trick. Scanners, jammers and amplifiers that interfere with the unlock code your fob sends to your car. But does any of this stuff really work? [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: We’re in California. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: The car theft capital of the U.S. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: To meet a guy who says he can prove it’s possible. Samy Kamkar has a very nice ride. He hasn’t, though, always done very nice things. He once created the fastest spreading computer virus of all time. We’ve hired Samy to show us how he can get around car security. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: And to see if he can pop the locks on this 2016 Cadillac SRX. So Sammy, what is that?>>So, this is a device I call roll jam. It’s proof of concept that I’ve created that demonstrates some of the insecurities with vehicles today. It gives me the ability to unlock a car when it really shouldn’t be unlocking.>>Charslie: What motivated you to come up with this?>>Cars are now pretty much just computers on wheels. So like a computer, they’re vulnerable to various types of attacks. So just interested in what are the attacks that are possible today?>>Charslie: Samy is known as a white hat hacker. He tries to expose flaws in security systems before the bad guys do.>>We’ll place a smaller version that basically interferes with the signal on the vehicle.>>Charslie: Can his device hack his way through the latest antitheft features?>>And this device, this is what picks up the signal. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: First he needs to figure out the car’s frequencies and program the device. After about half an hour, time to put this hacker to the test.>>Hit unlock. Try a few times. Cool. So I’m basically taking that signal. So now that signal is programmed in here. I can disable this. And when I want, I can go up to the car and I can unlock it. So currently we see it’s locked.>>Charslie: Yeah. Can’t get in.>>And then… Just using this.>>Charslie: A device that costs just 30 bucks to build. [ Laughter ]>>Get in. All of the cars that are out basically use the same technology. We’ve known about it for years, and we’ve all thought it’s been relatively secure. But, unfortunately, pretty much all vehicles have this same defect.>>Gill: Face-to-face with the head of cybersecurity at GM.>>Charslie: When you see this, do you get nervous?>>I get nervous any time researchers show anything.>>Gill: Shifting into the fast lane. This is your “Marketplace”. [ ♪♪ ]>>You’ll need to put this on.>>Charslie: Just in case.>>Just in case.>>Gill: Detective Paul LaSalle is taking us to a crime scene as we dig deeper into the world of electronic car theft. [ ♪♪ ]>>Gill: You’ve already seen how bad guys unlock your doors and steal stuff using high-tech devices. Now we’re about to show you how they unlock your engine to make off with your entire car.>>Going into North York. There’s been a number of occasions when stolen cars have been at this warehouse.>>Charslie: LaSalle works for York Regional Police just north of Toronto. In the past two years his auto theft squad has seen a rise in electronic car theft.>>There’s a place, so what we’ll do, we’ll just park right here and you can shoot through the side window if you want. There’s some containers there.>>Charslie: Cars stolen using those electronic devices, you found some in containers just like this.>>Just like this.>>Charslie: More than once police have uncovered stolen cars here ready to be shipped overseas.>>Nissan Quest.>>Charslie: The containers sometimes hold as many as four vehicles. Often with older cars in front, hiding newer models destined for countries like Nigeria. So it sounds like some of the thieves have caught up to technology.>>Absolutely.>>Charslie: The technical security elements.>>Absolutely. If there’s profit, people are going to put the effort in to do it right. So is it getting easier? For some, it is. Because they’ve got the technology to do it.>>Charslie: Technology that’s at work in this home surveillance video LaSalle gave us. One thief enters the SUV through the back door and lets the other one in the front. [ ♪♪ ]>>Gill: That thief is holding some kind of electronic device. It isn’t long before he’s got it started, and it’s another car stolen.>>Basically they’re getting into the brains of the car and getting the car to learn a new key. So the key that they bring to the scene simply after an amount of time that they need to reprogram it, simply just driving away.>>Charslie: You have actually got your hands on some of these electronic devices?>>Yep.>>Charslie: Do you want to show us some?>>Uh, no. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: He won’t show us. So we go looking for some of those devices ourselves down the road in Oakville, Ontario. We’ve heard thieves are using tools meant for legitimate locksmiths. Guys like Nic MacKay who’s agreed to show us how they work. Hey, Nic.>>How’s it going?>>Charslie: Great to meet you. Thanks for helping us out. So, your challenge, these keys are going to stay in my pocket. You got to get in this car, get it going, get outta here.>>Sounds good.>>Charslie: All right. Show us how it’s done. I lock the doors while Nic gets his equipment. Nothing fancy. To get into the car. The big challenge is to get the car going. Ooh. What is that?>>This is the MBB Pro. It’s a key programmer.>>Charslie: This key programmer allows Nic to talk to the car’s computer. So I’ve got the keys, Nic. What are you going to do?>>I have an unprogrammed key. Same thing. See, it doesn’t work the car at all. I’m going to basically tell the car to accept this as a new key.>>Charslie: It’s the same method thieves are using. Plug the programmer into the car’s diagnostic port, find the right make and model, and reset the car’s immobilizer.>>The immobilizer is what stops anyone from just coming in with any key, starting it up and going away.>>Charslie: Nic’s key programmer cost thousands, but there are plenty of cheaper knockoffs on sites like eBay that claim to work the same way. Do you think this kind of stuff could work?>>Yes. Absolutely. It’s actually really disappointing that they’re selling this stuff on eBay, because eBay won’t even sell lock picks as they are classified as burglary tools. Anyone who is on the internet buying key programming software on eBay, more than likely not legitimate.>>Charslie: eBay tells us selling key programmers could violate their policies. They remove the listings we showed them and will investigate others. After about 15 minutes, the car is ready for a new key.>>Going to add this one in. Still in its packaging.>>Charslie: Not all fobs work the same, but they can all be reprogrammed like this.>>I’m going to put this key up here. You’re going to hear a little chirp, and this key is tied to it. There we go. Just like that.>>Charslie: That’s it. Key programmed.>>Yep.>>Charslie: You can start this car?>>Absolutely.>>Charslie: Prove it. Get outta here. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: Now that cars are crammed with so much electronics… Car companies are in a race to keep them secure from thieves.>>It’s a big catchup game. What needs to be done is they need to get on top of it quick.>>Charslie: And from hackers.>>Hopefully this will alert manufacturers to actually resolve this issue now that we understand more about potentially what those attackers were doing. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: It was a GM car that Samy hacked. So we’re crossing into Detroit to find out what General Motors thinks about it. Jeff Massimilla is head of cybersecurity for GM. He says he wants to hear from the hackers. So we show him Samy’s work.>>Can’t get in.>>And then… I just use this.>>I guess what I would say is I would love to work with Samy more on this. The idea of that attack is pretty interesting. Maybe not a real-world type of activity, but could be applied in a real-world way which is why we need to get out in front of that stuff.>>Charslie: When you see this, do you get nervous?>>I get nervous any time researchers show anything. Researchers are very smart. In cybersecurity it’s a very interesting thing. Cybersecurity experts have to be right a hundred percent of the time. Researchers or attackers have to be right once. It’s a challenge every industry faces.>>Charslie: One of the police officer we had worked with, he was telling us if thieves can figure out a way to make money stealing cars, they’re going to do it pretty quick. The automotive industry in order to fix it, it’s going to cost them money so it could take them a little longer. What do you make of that?>>Safety and security of our customers are the highest priority. This is top of mind for General Motors. So I don’t agree with that statement at the most principled level from our perspective of the safety and security of our customers is our highest priority.>>Charslie: GM is the first big car company to openly invite hackers to find flaws in its vehicles. Massimilla says they’ve already fixed some things as a result. How worried should car owners be about the threat of cyberattacks?>>Car owners should know that their vehicles are safe. That’s the number one most important thing. And absolutely everything like this, anything that we see, we learn more about it and we address it. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charslie: If you’re not convinced, there are steps you can take in the meantime. And none of them are that high-tech. Like a lock for your steering wheel, and a lock for your diagnostic port. Anything that will slow a thief down.>>Time is risk. And risk is something they don’t want to do.>>Charslie: And, even better, listen to some guys who have been there. So, what lesson did you learn from that?>>Can we show you?>>Charslie: Sure. Show me.>>You want to lock your car, you press that magic button.>>Press the button. No more signal.>>And you close the door.>>Just like that. Never again with the fob.>>Gill: Learn how to outsmart car thieves and share your tips at facebook.com/cbcmarketplace.

100 thoughts on “High-tech car theft: How to hack a car (CBC Marketplace)

  1. NOT ALL PEOPLE LOOKING FOR KEY PROGRAMMERS ON EBAY/ONLINE ARE "NOT LEGIT"! Some are just looking to save 100s or 1000s at a repair shop by doing it themselves. I've purchased two model specific programmers for one of my cars and a friends. We saved a lot of $$$$ and weren't looking to steal anything! It sounds more like he wants them removed from Ebay as it might prevent someone using his service.

  2. the one who speaks for general motors saying that car owners should feel safe he says it so he does not loose sales….

    on the contrary cars owners should be worry

  3. Lousy system that reuses the same code. Even a garage door opener should be better than that although many mfg use cheap old stuff.

  4. I love how they show exactly what you need to build this… looks like an arduino 0, an RC transmitter/receiver, a breadboard, some jumper wires and a button or two. Time to go try and hack my car!

  5. Great what a evil world ,loves to show this or hoards of web info on most stolen cars, BUT TRY TO FIND INFO ON LEAST STOLEN CARS !! its like asking to meet god..that would really help people and insurance companys too..oh but thats to simple and kind for the screwed up web and world..SHAME

  6. the GM guy or any car manufacturer are such liars…. its all about money for them, if they want to fix this problem, they can….

  7. My neighbor across the street got his new truck stolen. (YAY! He was always blocking my driveway!) He had the premium anti-theft system. They never found the truck.

  8. Since a car is a driving computer why not add firewall. antivirus, antimalware and password protection to your vehicle when you purchase the car. When you purchase a used car you should be able to "factory reset" the vehicle's computer and install your protection.

  9. To help fix this problem is that cars need to use not only electronic lock but also the physical high security keys to enter on another way also is designing (not mentioned as in research this minute) lock unlock devises where needs narrow more accurate position codes not only at the door locks but also at start up. this can be done as this would then be a three way security. harder to bust with infinite codes.

  10. They are almost always young men. (the group that causes the most problems) my remedy: severe punishment and don't let the judge go along in talks like "he had a difficult childhood or something like that. and recover all costs incurred from the rat.

  11. I recently had my SUV stolen just like that lexus suv from the driveway. All discussed in the video is exactly what the investigator told me…

  12. And I can't start my car with a key .
    Well with a replacement key, it works for a few days. Then need to get a new key made

  13. IMO, the nuttiest part is the broad, standing in a parking garage, projecting old videos onto the side of someone's van!

  14. My signal got jammed once.thieves stole my daughters tablet.from that day i never lock my car with the keyfob.i use the lock button like those guys in the end of the vid.no signal for thieves to intercept.

  15. I am an ASE Master since 1978. I have seen the evolution of RKE and “Rolling Code” technology. Using the power door lock is the best way when exiting the vehicle, as the next “RF” code can not be captured from a short distance. But to avoid the theft of the entire vehicle, I spent $4 on a DC timer, that kills the engine in an adjustable time frame, say 30 seconds. When installed, it is activated by !!!!!!, then shuts off fuel, spark and activates the content theft with lights, horn on- off until disabled by the owners key of key FOB. I installed this on my classic late 60’s GM truck that has a BCM, RKE & PCM from an 2004 Tahoe engine and all.
    Engineering knows what a truth table is, so in proper theory, signal = Yes + Yes = Yes. My approach is passive, so I do not have to flip a switch or do anything. Using existing multiple inputs my $4 device & perhaps a relay, knowing the schematics can keep my truck where I left it last night. Yes+Yes+No=NO GO.
    ASE Master + L1 / Retired

  16. Easy peasy car companies just don't let power go to the (OBD)= ON BOARD DIAGNOSTICS until the ignition is turned on just a thought as I don't know much about this subject I came to this conclution just watching this clip it wouldn't solve entering the car but I don't think the key reprogramming would be accessible !! But for that just couldn't the key use a different code each time or even instead of the key using 1 code to open maybe it has 2 codes and uses the second one please forgive me like I said im not very techy just my theory's…

  17. 🤣😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😯😯😯😯😜😛😌🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯😱😱😱😱😱😱🕵️🕵️🕵️🕵️🕵️

  18. Commiefornia is the car theft capital of the world. Oh yes let all the trash thieves and murderers across the boarder. Good job commiefornia.

  19. Can't you make it so that the command is encrypted with a private key. So that both the key fob and the receiver in the car has the key. And if they are paranoid the private key wipes off the key fob once the battery dies

  20. No one can hack into your new car…. Someone in an an car dealership or factory…..ie engineer sells the design/idea or software to thieves…..most times it's an inside job….its another way to make money….the land of opportunity right👍

  21. Too much garbage lies and advertisement/affliate just for views and likes. Silly video. It ain't that easy as they say.

  22. I've seen people do it with pre programmed ECU's but they can only go after that model of car. They hook it up thru the engine, sometimes from outside the car, and turn off the security for the vehicle and hotwire or other ways. I'm a mechanic and I still dont know how tf they do it.

  23. Go to ScottyKIlmer.com. An amazing person with 51 years of mechanic experience. Scotty has been warning about these tools and their abilities for years. He says never get a car without a physical key. That is getting increasingly hard to do. But I won't buy a car without a key. Scotty told people a long time ago about not using their bob to lock the car. There are thieves who hang around parking lots and wait for you to lock your car with the bob. They have devices that not only can pick up your frequency but duplicate it. In the old days, I used to pull the coil wire from my cars, you aren't going anywhere without a coil wire. A personal friend of mine has lived in Chicago all his life, sometimes not in the best neighborhoods. He uses the steering wheel lock and in 40 years and many cars, never lost one.

  24. Keyless Ignition allows this, if your car has a key for the ignition then they might get in to the car but wont be able to start it.

  25. Seriously? Back in the 90's we used code grabbers from Radio Shack to bypass car security. These fuckers act like they invented it and its new.

  26. 2 clueless people working in the jungle totally clueless about the everyday risks ,these people are a liability to any company !

  27. GM tec = we would love to work with with the hackers i bet you would just to get their knowledge , GM are so slow they make a snail look fast remember the GM ignition lock scandal where thousand s of GM cars just cut out ,no power steering /power brakes took them years and lots of law suits before anything was done jewcnts !

  28. This is why I don't buy new cars. I buy used car that require physical lock and never leave anything too valuable in the car. Only necessities. Nothing is smart about the word "smart" in technology. Poor encryption.

  29. Lies , gm only cares about getting your money. They have known about this gap in security since the late 90s. .. Bottom line is if you lose your car. They will gladly sell you another.

  30. Grow up! Government operatives have known how to do this for at least 20 years. I guess the crooks just finally caught up.

  31. protecting the port and a club? really!!! All they have to do is clip a wire and wire a new port on and be gone! WOW! Clubs are easy to cut off with a battery grinder. I have the best solution. All GM has to do is reach out to me.

  32. Sounds like somebody in the hotel set up the robbery weatherby another guest the management or something else and they used to security cameras to see them load their vehicle with all that expensive studio equipment and then they probably called a contact in which they gone and collected the car with the special electronic device I bet it was originally designed for the CIA to gain access to cars overseas and somebody figured out how to replicate the technology and now it's being pulled liberated

  33. "UTOS is device testing security systems, you can check for the reliability of car alarm, automatic gate, garage, warehouse, etc. The device can not only open, but also start a car !!! If you are interested, write!"

  34. That is BS that anyone buying a key programmer on Ebay would "more than likely not be legitimate". I lost my key for my car and they wanted $300 to program the car and another $150 for a new key and it's a 2000, not something very new. I could buy a new key, 2 fobs, ignition and programmer for about $175 – and closer to half that if you buy the key software and a programming kit seperate.

  35. In Sweden, we etch the car's registration number on all glass panes which makes the car unattractive to steal and that it becomes more difficult for thieves to sell the car abroad, costs 15 dollars.

  36. looks like e-bay changed it's policies, they ARE selling lock picks contrary to what this guy was saying or he said that without knowing was he was saying !

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