Home » Fleming’s BMW robbed from parking lot in Spain, without traces of burglary: “Car sellers remain silent about these problems” (Antwerp)

Fleming’s BMW robbed from parking lot in Spain, without traces of burglary: “Car sellers remain silent about these problems” (Antwerp)

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The remote control key that also opens and closes the car automatically. On the right a comparable BMW. — © rr

Antwerp –

An Antwerp resident’s BMW was completely robbed last week in the parking lot of a large retail chain in Spain, without any traces of burglary. Culprit? The keyless entry, which can apparently be easily hacked by criminals.

The victim would rather not have his name published in the newspaper, but wants to warn other drivers. “Car salesmen keep silent about these problems, while otherwise I would never have chosen this option,” says the man.

Keyless entry is a system used on modern cars so that the owner does not have to press the remote control button every time to open or close the car. You should only carry the remote control or key in your pocket or handbag. Using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), it is sufficient that the key is near the car to unlock it. Thieves are now taking advantage of this. They hack the signal that the car sends with a small amplifier. And that seems like child’s play.

“The manufacturers do not feel liable, but who does?” the victim wonders. “In concrete terms, you cannot leave anything of value in the car without the risk of being robbed. Travel assistance insurance and car comprehensive insurance do not cover these costs. It is a theft without burglary.”

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“According to BMW Belux, they know the problem there and it is called a relay attack. Apparently those amplifiers to pick up the signal can be purchased on the internet.”

To reduce the risk, BMW recommends that you no longer carry the car key in your trouser or vest pocket so that it can ‘fall asleep’. If the key fluctuates too much, it would continue to send out signals. The thieves can apparently only pick up the signal if they are fairly close to the car. Another option is to deactivate the comfort access, so that the transmission of the signals stops. Wrapping the key in aluminum foil is also given as an option.

“Obviously this is not workable. Is this technological progress?”, says the victim.

Jeroen Lissens, spokesperson for BMW Belux in Bornem, regrets what happened. “But it remains very exceptional. It is a cat-and-mouse game with gangs that specialize in this. About two years ago there was a problem with thefts. After this, the software was optimized with those two minutes. If the key is idle for two minutes, such as when you come home in the evening, it automatically stops sending signals.”

READ ALSO. Stef’s bicycle was stolen from his car, and it was not just any bicycle: “Especially the way it is done is crazy” (kma)

A similar BMW to the victim’s. — © rr

The Antwerp resident’s car key. — © rr


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