Author Topic: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits  (Read 168 times)

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Offline Phmode

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Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« on: November 30, 2019, 06:55:02 pm »
Sitting in a friend's house working my way down a bottle of Scotch Ordinaire when the next door neighbour (RAC patrolman and local ACDC security freak) sends a text saying 'Wrap yer daughters in tinfoil and keep 'em away from the car, there are lots of thefts of Cherman cars in the area and I've just spotted a couple of suspicious cars lurking in the area'. I think he must have been further down his bottle of sin than I am cos a) I don't have any daughters and b) if I had they wouldn't mind being stolen.

So, having dutifully wrapped all our car keys in tin foil and ordered Secure by Design Faraday Cage key pouches from t'internet for future use, the question arose; do we need them? We don't have keyless entry but we do have 'attractive' German motors. Can thieves still nick 'em by purloining the code over the airways?

Any road up, nowt to do with cars but what about our bikes? The K has a transponder thingy which I 'think' only works on proximity and not 'wireless voodoo' stuff. But is I right?

Can thieves spoof our bike's security system into life somehow by a) nicking a code and b) screwdrivering the ignition barrel?

Brian (who, as a BSc (1967 - failed) in electronic engineering should know this stuff but doesn't)

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 07:13:32 pm »
They use a relay/amplifier system to boost the signal between the car and your key.

I think it only affects fully keyless cars - i.e. ones you walk up to and don't press any button to unlock - being in the car's proximity is enough to unlock.

So the trick is the thief can play man in the middle. To quote a website:
While one criminal stands by the car with a transmitter, a second walks around the perimeter of the house with the amplifier, and if the key is close enough it will detect its signal and send it to the transmitter. At this point the transmitter effectively becomes the key, allowing the thieves to gain access to the car and even drive it away. The whole process can take just seconds and be completed in virtual silence.

Putting your key in a biscuit box or other metal container will certainly decrease the signal strength nicely. I don't think you need to pay for funky Faraday cages.

The alternative is run a ratty car. I'm already there, baby.

Some reading material here:
https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-tech/101890/how-to-avoid-keyless-theft
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 07:25:12 pm by richtea »

Offline Swindon Andy

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 12:32:41 am »
I've got a keyless entry car. I tested key in an aluminium 'tin' but this didn't prevent the signal getting through. I use a faraday pouch every night just in case.
If you want to shield your key in a metal whatsit,  do test it.

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 09:02:47 am »
I've got a keyless entry car. I tested key in an aluminium 'tin' but this didn't prevent the signal getting through. I use a faraday pouch every night just in case.
If you want to shield your key in a metal whatsit,  do test it.

Good point. Try the companies/products here - as accredited by this police organisation:
https://www.securedbydesign.com/member-companies/accredited-product-search?view=category&category=ATM+and+RFID+Security+%26+ID+Fraud+Prevention

Offline Andym535

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 09:06:11 am »
There's an article on how it works on the gs911 website...

https://www.hexcode.co.za/techinfo/ews

The transponder is wireless, but there's no battery in the key, it's powered by the ring antenna and has a range of 2cm.

No need to keep your K1300 keys in a crisp packet as far as I can see.
If it matters what gear you’re in, the engine’s too small.

Offline Phmode

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 12:35:02 pm »
I bought 4 of these...

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F283039533982

...at less than a fiver each. Secure by Design if you get the later model, which these are.

All the tests I read claimed the cheaper they were, the better they seemed to work  ::)

The one BIG fly in the ointment is that most folks forget that they have a spare car key in the drawer in the sideboard which is right next to an external wall...

Oh, and when they nip into the local shop with their keys in their hand/pocket/handbag...

Some cars now have an on-off switch on the keyless fob so you can turn it off when you are at home etc., sort of defeats the object somewhat  8)

Offline Matt

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 06:56:47 pm »
Flipping heck. Now you explain it I understand. I think I built my most too close to the house. Will have to stick with my 20 year old traditional car. It does sound terribly inefficient for a fob to be constantly shouting out. Shirley it could just listen for the car, which has a big battery, to shout at it first.

I'll call Elon. Or Egon.
"My riding is far from perfect"
Brian c. 2019

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 07:57:36 pm »
Mmmm - maybe Matt means moat not most?

I'd be amazed if the key gave out an active signal - the battery wouldn't last more than a month. As you say it's much more likely for the car to be always broadcasting and the key passively receives a signal, awakes and replies - or in the theft scenario the relay 'wakes' and re-transmits the car signal on to the key (and then the key replies to the relay -> car to unlock).

But since I don't have this problem I can't be arsed to investigate any further.  :P

And besides - there's a much nicer car just two doors down. Ha.

Offline Matt

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 09:31:57 pm »
Hah, I thought having a bigger phone screen would reduce errors. Maybe it has but it hasn't negated them!

And yeah I getchya, that does make more sense. And the MitM attack still works. I was looking at switching my ooold 3 series for a newer 5 series, so I might spend the next 5 months working out how to re-engineer this rubbish.

Or I'll read my book and go to bed.
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Brian c. 2019

Offline farmer

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 11:38:50 am »
the transponder thingy has been about for donkeys years....having trouble remembering my first experience of it but i know my 96 diesel rover worked of one so at least early ninety's maybe earlier. its a different system for immobilising your engine...no alarm or that but did what it said on the tin. these new things...well not as handy as they made out.
a much handier idea is to live in the middle of nowhere....the top of the middle...and not worry about keys 'cos they're where you left them.
the draw back of this is on the odd occasion i be in a big city i have been known to wander round blissfully unaware i left my keys in the car...luckily i have got away with it so far, on the other hand no thief in his right mind would fancy my car anyway.....   

Offline Andym535

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 12:44:48 pm »
The first car with a RFID key fob was the 1982 Renault Fuego.
If it matters what gear you’re in, the engine’s too small.

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Re: Faraday Cage/RFID/Bacofoil anti-theft wotsits
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 01:05:25 pm »
wasn't a bad looking car either , but it was a renault