Car theft via OBD hack, a BMW nightmare

Discussion in 'Other Vehicles' started by Steve, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    12,156
    3,162
    113
    Maryland, USA
    Ratings:
    +3,164 / 0 / -0
    This isn't news but it's new to me, so I may have some of this wrong. Please post up if you have better info. I'm also wondering whether this might apply to any version of MINI...I'm not familiar with the start/ignition systems on the newer models.

    Seems BMW theft has been pretty severe recently in Europe. A thief plugs his custom key fob code scanner into your OBD-II port, steals the code, and then programs a blank fob and drives away in your car. Takes about 3 minutes.

    Based on what I've read this may be a Europe-only issue:
    Speculation says BMWs are hardest hit because of a larger available supply of blank BMW fobs in Europe. BMW USA claim blank fob access isn't an issue here because they control the US fob supply centrally and only distribute them, one at a time, through the dealer network based on specific, immediate need.

    BMW owners groups are understandably upset that the problem has been going on for some time with only vague recognition acknowledged by BMW. BMW recently announced a fix for the problem, but according to this article the fix comes with new issues/challenges:

    BMW PUTS THE OBD FIX IN (PistonHeads.com)
    You might think the thieves would be foiled in advance of gaining access to the OBD port since they first need to gain entry to the vehicle, but there are surprises (well, surprising to me...) there as well. Apparently thieves can get their hands on jammers that will jam the door locking signal from your fob. If they want to steal your car they set up the jammer nearby where you normally park. You close the door and push the door lock button on your fob as you walk away but the doors don't lock. Easy access. Then there's the good old break the door glass option. Some owners figure their expensive factory alarm system will stop this form of intrusion but apparently those factory systems have blind spots, including one that allows sneaky access to the OBD port without tripping the alarm!
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    12,156
    3,162
    113
    Maryland, USA
    Ratings:
    +3,164 / 0 / -0
    Progress, but note the unfortunate logic in the last paragraph...

    BMW Addresses Key Cloning Issue On Select BMWs (MotorAuthority.com)
     
  3. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
    Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    8,753
    2,533
    113
    Bend, OR USA
    Ratings:
    +2,653 / 1 / -0
    Wow.....glad I still need a key to start my car.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    12,156
    3,162
    113
    Maryland, USA
    Ratings:
    +3,164 / 0 / -0
    Never mind hacking the OBD, just steal the keys!

    KEY THEFT GANG JAILED (PistonHeads.com)
     
  5. Gizmo

    Gizmo New Member

    May 22, 2012
    487
    283
    0
    Graphic Design Student/Airport Office Assistant
    Flemington, NJ
    Ratings:
    +283 / 0 / -0
    Glad I need my finger print and a strand of hair for DNA to start my car, better to be safe than sorry.
     
  6. Jason Montague

    Jason Montague New Member
    Lifetime Supporter

    Jan 5, 2010
    6,134
    1,587
    0
    Physician Assitant (retired)
    Sherman,Tx
    Ratings:
    +1,587 / 0 / -0
    :cornut: I'm glad that they haven't been able to reprogram my 90lbs Lab/Rottie(Raleigh) or my Colt Defender .45acp pistol. Odd but in the UK, one is not allowed to use deadly force even to defend one's own life much less one's property(not meant as a political statement).:Thumbsup:

    Jason
     
  7. Angib

    Angib New Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    824
    425
    0
    (Old) England
    Ratings:
    +425 / 0 / -0
    This is quite untrue, but it is popular to claim this amongst those who want to pretend that they are the oppressed majority. But there is a requirement of proportionality so deadly force is perfectly legal when you believe your life is threatened - but shooting someone because they were picking flowers from your front yard isn't.
     
  8. Jason Montague

    Jason Montague New Member
    Lifetime Supporter

    Jan 5, 2010
    6,134
    1,587
    0
    Physician Assitant (retired)
    Sherman,Tx
    Ratings:
    +1,587 / 0 / -0
    :cornut: Thank You :Thumbsup:

    Jason
     
  9. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2009
    3,242
    776
    113
    Hagerstown, Md.
    Ratings:
    +847 / 0 / -0

Share This Page