Could your keyless car be hacked? 24 models identified as vulnerable

A German car club has identified a hack which allows thieves access keyless cars

95% of European car manufacturers now use keyless entry on their vehicles. Researchers at a German car club "ADAC" have tested what is being called an "amplification attack" on dozens of car models and found 24 to be vulnerable. 

Keyless technology has been around since the mid-90s with Mercedes Benz among the first to use it. They called the feature "Keyless Go". Over the last number of years this type of technology has evolved and developed. Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) allows drivers to access their car and start the engine without a key. 

The driver's key card is identified by a paired radio transponder chip in the car. The car locks and unlocks when the keycard is within a certain radius. 

The amplification attack works by tricking the sensor in the car into thinking the key is near by. All that is needed is a pair of radio devices. One near the driver and the other near the car. The thieves change the frequency of the car to hack into the vehicle. 

The vulnerable models are:

  •   Audi: A3, A4, A6
  •   BMW: 730d
  •   Citroen: DS4 CrossBack
  •   Ford: Galaxy, Eco-Sport
  •   Honda: HR-V
  •   Hyundai: Santa Fe CRDi
  •   Kia: Optima
  •   Lexus: RX 450h
  •   Mazda: CX-5
  •   Mini: Clubman
  •   Mistubishi: Outlander
  •   Nissan: Qashqai, Leaf
  •   Opel: Ampera
  •   Range Rover: Evoque
  •   Renault: Traffic
  •   Subaru: Levorg
  •   Toyota: Rav4
  •   Volkswagen: Golf GTD, Touran 5T

While the manufacturers are aware of this security vulnerability, there isn't a whole lot that can be done about it.