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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Scanning devices to emulate key fobs to steal cars are becoming more common.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/style/keeping-your-car-safe-from-electronic-thieves.html?_r=1.

As is mentioned at the end of the article, a Faraday Cage is one countermeasure, but it seems like a pain to keep a key fob in the freezer or inside of a 4-5" signal-blocking bag.

See: https://www.amazon.com/Keyfob-RFID-...33&sr=1-3&keywords=faraday+cage+for+key+fob. .

Also, once you remove the key fob from the bag, a strong RFID signal becomes available for someone who is lurking around to capture it.

There's another option. Simply take some heavy duty aluminum foil (or double up the household stuff) and wrap it around your key fob, leaving a 2" x 1/4" strip open on the metal part of the rear side to allow a greatly reduced signal to get through. Then take a felt marker to label the keys underneath (like L - U - T).

With this setup, I found that the range was reduced to about 2' from the front doors. (The Fisker Karma uses older technology and may be less susceptible to be stolen, but the above advice should apply to newer cars. Perhaps someone can weigh in on this issue.)
 

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Scanning devices to emulate key fobs to steal cars are becoming more common.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/style/keeping-your-car-safe-from-electronic-thieves.html?_r=1.

As is mentioned at the end of the article, a Faraday Cage is one countermeasure, but it seems like a pain to keep a key fob in the freezer or inside of a 4-5" signal-blocking bag.

See: https://www.amazon.com/Keyfob-RFID-...33&sr=1-3&keywords=faraday+cage+for+key+fob. .

Also, once you remove the key fob from the bag, a strong RFID signal becomes available for someone who is lurking around to capture it.

There's another option. Simply take some heavy duty aluminum foil (or double up the household stuff) and wrap it around your key fob, leaving a 2" x 1/4" strip open on the metal part of the rear side to allow a greatly reduced signal to get through. Then take a felt marker to label the keys underneath (like L - U - T).

With this setup, I found that the range was reduced to about 2' from the front doors. (The Fisker Karma uses older technology and may be less susceptible to be stolen, but the above advice should apply to newer cars. Perhaps someone can weigh in on this issue.)
This is very interesting, but I don't think it really applies to our Karmas because we don't have a "Keyless" entry system where the car and the fob are in constant communication. Instead, we have an older system that transmits a signal only when the fob is activated by pressing the lock or unlock buttons. The rest of the time, it is sitting passively and not doing anything that a sniffer can pick up.

Of course, if the miscreants happen to be sitting in range when you remotely unlock your car, they would be able to sniff the exchange, but in that situation, you would likely get in your car and drive off, and there will be no car to steal.

I think reducing the effective range of the transmitter definitely increases security by reducing the possibility of an eavesdropper picking up the signal, but the Karma cannot be compromised in the same as described in the NYT article, because we don't have a keyless entry system that is constantly in contact with the car.

Incidentally, it never fails to amuse me how clueless the cops are about these things. They just assume that you forgot to lock your car.
 

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I see this exactly like Fabulist.

Additionally, I hate this keyless stuff.
If I approach my Audi at home, I have to do it from the back, as We always back into our driveway. At a rate of 30% the trunk opens without requesting it actively by pressing the button.

As Murphy tells, it never happened at the dealership, so it must be our fault.

And best of all, it only happens to me! Never to my wife 😫
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yesterday, someone asked me if I was doing anything special for the holidays. "You betcha," I said, "I'll be wrapping tin foil around my key fob."
 

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Yesterday, someone asked me if I was doing anything special for the holidays. "You betcha," I said, "I'll be wrapping tin foil around my key fob."
For that festive touch, try some holiday tinsel instead. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For that festive touch, try some holiday tinsel instead. :D
Touché.

Back to the thread, isn't it possible for a “miscreant” to capture the Karma’s fob signals if they’re scanning the area when you're getting into your car? The Unlock code would be all they need.

True, you’re driving away so it wouldn’t be an issue at that point in time. In my case, I go to the gym on routine basis and I know there can be bad guys staking out the parking lot. In fact, members have recently reported an uptick in vehicle break-ins and stuff being stolen.

I’m not as concerned about the possibility of losing the Karma itself; I'm more concerned about someone taking items from the trunk, console or glove box. (Yup, it's a good idea to hide your registration, since knowledge of your address and the fact you're not at home is a recipe for disaster.)

Perhaps a tinseled fob wouldn't be a bad idea.
 

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Touché.

Back to the thread, isn't it possible for a “miscreant” to capture the Karma’s fob signals if they’re scanning the area when you're getting into your car? The Unlock code would be all they need.

True, you’re driving away so it wouldn’t be an issue at that point in time. In my case, I go to the gym on routine basis and I know there can be bad guys staking out the parking lot. In fact, members have recently reported an uptick in vehicle break-ins and stuff being stolen.

I’m not as concerned about the possibility of losing the Karma itself; I'm more concerned about someone taking items from the trunk, console or glove box. (Yup, it's a good idea to hide your registration, since knowledge of your address and the fact you're not at home is a recipe for disaster.)

Perhaps a tinseled fob wouldn't be a bad idea.
It's not a bad idea at all. The tools to sniff radio signals from the keyfob to the car have been around for a while, and they are relatively cheap to buy and easy to use. Here is just one example that claims a max range of 500 meters. :-/

Using tinsel to limit the range would make it much harder for the sniffer to pick up the signal from a safe distance (safe for the miscreants, that is). On the other hand, it would also prevent the fob from working from a convenient distance, or maybe even reliably at close distance. There is always a tradeoff in these situations, and, as always, YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's not a bad idea at all. The tools to sniff radio signals from the keyfob to the car have been around for a while, and they are relatively cheap to buy and easy to use. Here is just one example that claims a max range of 500 meters. :-/
This looks like a garage door signal replicator that can learn an existing fixed code.

Here's another way your garage can get hacked. By modifying a Mattel toy, the fellow in this article was able to crack a fixed-code garage door in less than 10 seconds.

http://www.itstactical.com/intellic...nder-10-seconds-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/.

If 10 seconds is too long and you don't want to mess with circuitry, you can do it in 6 seconds using a wire hanger:

 

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This is very interesting, but I don't think it really applies to our Karmas because we don't have a "Keyless" entry system where the car and the fob are in constant communication. Instead, we have an older system that transmits a signal only when the fob is activated by pressing the lock or unlock buttons. The rest of the time, it is sitting passively and not doing anything that a sniffer can pick up.
Fab, are you sure about this?
I only ask because I know that if you walk away from your Karma with the key fob while it is in the "Ready" state is does recognize that the key fob is no longer with the car and you throw a light up on the dash.
 

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while 'keyless entry' just requires the key being within a certain distance (that's the flaw) we need to press a button, to open the car initially.

So I'd agree with Fabulist.

If you left the running Karma with the fob, someone can jump in and drive away.... without any additional tools.
 

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while 'keyless entry' just requires the key being within a certain distance (that's the flaw) we need to press a button, to open the car initially.

So I'd agree with Fabulist.

If you left the running Karma with the fob, someone can jump in and drive away.... without any additional tools.

Ah, thanks Stefan, I'm tracking now!
 

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Fab, are you sure about this?
I only ask because I know that if you walk away from your Karma with the key fob while it is in the "Ready" state is does recognize that the key fob is no longer with the car and you throw a light up on the dash.
while 'keyless entry' just requires the key being within a certain distance (that's the flaw) we need to press a button, to open the car initially.

So I'd agree with Fabulist.

If you left the running Karma with the fob, someone can jump in and drive away.... without any additional tools.
Right; our cars have Keyless start, but not keyless entry, which is a bit odd. Most other cars have neither or both. :fisker: is special, even when it comes to the key.
 
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