ION08 Registered User
#1

I was just looking at the "Stolen and Recovered Ireland" Facebook page and 3 BMW's have been stolen in the past week.

In fact the majority of cars stolen seem to be BMW's

One of the guys who had his 320i M Sport taken even has a video of the car being stolen...

Window Smashed (No Alarm Sounds) > OBD Accessed / Key Cloned > Car driven away ... all in less than 3 minutes.

A simple Google of "BMW OBD Theft" will reveal how vulnerable BMW's are.

An absolute Joke to think that a "premium" German car is so easy to steal.

mloc123 Subscriber
#2

I would say almost all cars can be stolen this way now... I guess BMW are in high demand due to the cost of parts?

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D3V!L Registered User
#3

There's been a lot of BMW R1200GS's (Big motorbike) stolen in the UK, especially london.

Most are keyless so you just sit on it and push the button. There was a video going around of some little scrote sitting on one. Putting his hand down the side of the engine and then hey presto, it started.

There's obviously some inherent flaw in their design thats letting this happen.

Atlantic Dawn Registered User
#4

It's an issue for keyless models built from 2007 until September 2011, others are fine.

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Wibbs Je suis un Rock star
#5

While BMW's are the most commented upon, seemingly most stolen(big trade in parts/cars?), they're not the only vulnerable cars. Some BMW models have/had a major vulnerability regarding their internal ultrasonic(?) sensors*, where there was a dead zone of coverage, so a thief could access the OBD port and clone the key, without the alarm going off.

The cloning key part can be applied to other manufacturers security. That's the problem with an industry standard security system. Once it is bypassed once, this process is repeatable across any other car with the same or similar system. Kinda like computer security. If you run a standard Windows/Mac/whatever system without any other layer of security, once that system is hacked anywhere, any such system can be hacked. Plus being industry standard it has to be easily accessible and repairable to main dealers and mechanics and sooner or later the secret's out. So Mr Scum out for easy money has an easier path to theft.

Back before such industry standards, where many fitted third party security and alarms, each car would present a different challenge, because each car would have a different alarm setup. If properly fitted(the majority weren't/aren't) it could present a right pain in the pods to bypass. (*aside* I could never understand why people put stickers on their car advertising the alarm system they had. Dumb.)

Now we have the keyless systems becoming popular and Mr Scum has already found pretty easy ways to bypass this by extending the range of the owners fob inside the house, so the car thinks the fob is present. This is as plain as the nose on your face level obvious a bypass. How this got signed off within the industry without seeing that is beyond me TBH.


*having an old yoke, one that needs security like a fish needs water, I've tried various sensors down the years and for my money the ultrasonics were second only to shock sensors for being a major PITA. They either go off when a housefly lands on your windscreen, or won't go off if hippos are having carnal relations on your bonnet. They also tend to false alarm more if set to anything near useful. I suspect this is why the Beemer engineers kept sensitivity low and this gives the dead zone.

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Wibbs Je suis un Rock star
#6

Atlantic Dawn said:
It's an issue for keyless models built from 2007 until September 2011, others are fine.
Not quite. Later models can be bypassed by extending the fob range. Not just BMW either. The earlier cars made it easier for Mr Scum, because they could access the OBD without setting off the alarm. With the more recent models fob range extension "hack", they don't even have to do that.

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bazz26 Registered User
#7

Which is why you can buy a lead laced pouch on ebay for your key fob if you have keyless entry/start. I bought 2 of these and confirm when the key fob is in the pouch the car's keyless system will not open the door even when right next to the car.

If they really want it then they will find a way of getting it but at least this makes it a bit more difficult. BTW they can do this with most cars that have keyless entry or start, not just BMWs. BMWs and Audis are popular targets because these cars and parts are in strong demand over in Eastern Europe and Russia.

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ION08 Registered User
#8

bazz26 said:
Which is why you can buy a lead laced pouch on ebay for your key fob if you have keyless entry/start. I bought 2 of these and confirm when the key fob is in the pouch the car's keyless system will not open the door even when right next to the car.

BTW they can do this with most cars that have keyless entry or start, not just BMWs.


"Lead Laced Pouch" .. kind of takes away from the Prestige, Glamour and convenience of a Keyless Start System doesn't it?

There's a lot to be said for a Normal Key with a blade and Immobiliser chip

If I was ordering a new car I would actually be inclined to Pay Extra for a Normal key instead of the other way around

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punisher5112 Registered User
#9

ION08 said:
"Lead Laced Pouch" .. kind of takes away from the Prestige, Glamour and convenience of a Keyless Start System doesn't it?

There's a lot to be said for a Normal Key with a blade and Immobiliser chip

If I was ordering a new car I would actually be inclined to Pay Extra for a Normal key instead of the other way around



Good idea for when at home and not using the car as they won't be able to boost signal with the signal boosters they use.

MaceFace Registered User
#10

When I got my BMW, the first two things I done:

  • Put tape over the ODB port
  • Store keys in a metal container at night time


The tape should hopefully make it difficult to access the port in the dark unless someone knows why it won't open and can remove the tape.
The metal container - I done some reading before and from what I could tell, any metal container such as a biscuit tin would kill the signal.

It's not about making it steal-proof, but making it a little bit more difficult that they move on to an easier option.

bazz26 Registered User
#11

You only need the pouch to store the keys and block the signal when they are laid up overnight, where potentially a thief could extend the key's signal without getting hold of it, to open the car, so no its not a big deal for me anyway. As cars get more technology they come more vulnerable to technology attacks just like a smart phone or tablet. I think your main gripe seems to be that such things should not happen with premium brands, reality is that nothing is 100% secure these days. It happens to non premium brands too but doesn't seem to get as much outrage. If people want to really protect their cars then get aftermarket alarms and/or trackers which has always been the case, at the end of the day a determined thief wants your car then they will get it, all you can do is make it more difficult for them in the hope they move on to another instead.

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Mooooo Registered User
#12

If they want the car they will and have in the past broken into houses to get the keys obviously the more opportunistic ones may just move on. A tracker is prob the best bet

Wibbs Je suis un Rock star
#13

When I got my BMW, the first two things I done:

Put tape over the ODB portAnother option is to install a "kill switch" to the OBD port, so that when activated the port is inactive. With a decent aftermarket alarm system, one with more than one circuit immobilised, one such immobilised circuit could be the OBD.


The metal container - I done some reading before and from what I could tell, any metal container such as a biscuit tin would kill the signal.
It should reduce the range alright. Another one I've heard is to put it in the microwave, but that requires not being forgetful... . An anti static bag would be a pretty good Faraday cage that should attenuate the signal.

It's not about making it steal-proof, but making it a little bit more difficult that they move on to an easier option.
This +1000. The "ah sure if they really want it, they'll take it" line of thinking irritates me TBH. OK you can't make a car theft proof, but you can make it an enormous PITA to steal. You'll certainly stop the dribbling moron "joyriders" and given so many either don't think about their cars security or run with the "If they want it" notion, it increases the chances that "professional" Mr Scum will go elsewhere. It's not worth the effort for them. Not when there are far easier targets all around.

Trackers are a very good option and can't hurt, however for me they are lacking in one vital way; by the time they're in play Mr Scum has already stolen your car. That's the step you want to try to avoid.

Layers are everything. Anything to confuse and disrupt Mr Scum and his scumlets.

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carloscorreia Registered User
#14

My brother moved the OBD port to a new place in the car and left another one on the original place but it isn't connected to the car.

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galwaytt Registered User
#15

ION08 said:
If I was ordering a new car I would actually be inclined to Pay Extra for a Normal key instead of the other way around


....you mean a Skoda.

No, seriously: the Skoda rep on their stand at the Ploughing Championship said two big things that help them sell to 'their demographic', i.e., farmers, is a) an actual key, and b) an actual, conventional handbrake.

If its not broken, don't fix it imho.

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