What does a key fob signal amplifier do?

What does a key fob signal amplifier do?

A Key fob signal amplifier is a smart gadget that boosts the signal from the key fob and extends its range. Technology has developed drastically over the last few decades and every industry is trying to keep up with the innovations. Car producers are not the exception in the process. All companies try to implement brand-new ideas in their vehicles. Consequently, most of new cars have a comfortable keyless entry (also known as a smart key) system. It helps to unlock a vehicle using radio frequency units between a key fog and a car. Some manufacturers also provide Keyless Go (Keyless go blogpost link) technology via your app. All you need to do is simply download the specific application to your mobile phone or a tablet and enjoy your drive.

The important thing here is that those signals never stop. Even more, a special tool is available to amplify the radio waves. When drivers are within the range connection is validated and doors unlock with a single touch on the door handle (different car models may have a sensor or other buttons available precisely for this wireless technology). 

Hence, thanks to the key fob amplifier you can open your car and even drive it away from a further distance without holding an actual key.

Can the key fob signal amplifier really harm you?

Millions of drivers around the world use the keyless go system every single day. However, it turns out that this convenient method can be the greatest threat as well. For years thieves tried to find out the best way to break in and steal your car. Using a simple transmitter, now they can hack your key fob, clone the signal it releases and unlock the entire vehicle. This relay attack (our blogpost link about relay attack) happens so quickly that you will not even notice that your car is not parked at the spot you have left it.

As usual, two or more people are involved in the process. They steal new cars that have remote smart entry (keyless entry blogpost link) and keyless ignition systems. Attackers trick both the car and the key at the same time. One hacker stands next to the victim’s vehicle with the receiver in his/her hands, while the other circles the key fob with an amplifier hoping to catch the signal. As soon as the key fob signal amplifier receives a proper radio wave, it sends the frequency toward a target car. A thief with a small device transmits the signal back along toward the fob. This uninterrupted connection between a key fob and a vehicle tricks the system that thinks the keys are in the driver’s hands. Therefore, instead of cracking radio code, hackers clone it and then transmit it via a frequency booster. This tool is all they need to easily steal your cars.

How long does it take to steal a car using an amplifier?

Regardless of the manufacturers stealing a car with a key fob amplifier takes maximum 10 seconds. As automobiles are becoming increasingly remote, thieves created several techniques to hack the keyless entry system. The easiest method is called SARA (Signal Amplification Relay Attack). But how easy is it to steal a car using this technology?

Researchers have conducted numerous experiments to precisely answer the question. During their tests, they were able to remotely unlock and drive away hundreds of different cars with a simple signal extender. What threatens the most is that the whole hijacking process happens within 10 seconds. This extremely little time frame leaves you vulnerable to the attack. The industry is aware of the challenge they are facing today and has made some improvements to protect the cars. However, these measures do not prevent stealing vehicles (blogpost relay theft) and the experts suppose that if proper actions are not taken, massive attacks on smarty entry systems will get easier and more common.

Is it easy to buy a key fob signal amplifier?

Everything started in 2011 when researchers from Switzerland demonstrated a device that used software to detect radio waves. This tool could hack the keyless entry system and was worthy of several thousands of U.S. dollars. In 2016, the German group ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club) managed to create the same technology for only $225. Moreover, a new version was suitable for 24 different vehicles including car-producing giants such as Mercedes, BMW, Ford and Audi.

As time passed, the key fob signal amplifier has become even more available on the market. Chinese companies started to create their own transmitting devices. Their tool receives a signal from your key fob and extend the range of the signal. With this method, Chinese amplifiers use less energy and work within a longer distance. Plus, the whole system costs much cheaper than before existing ones. Chips, transmitters and even batteries for both radios in total are around $22. 

Low price, availability and easy usage are the main reasons why this method of stealing a car become so popular all over the world. Now, more than ever before, it is essential to make sure that your vehicle is well-protected and safe from thieves.

How to protect yourself from key fob theft

Modern cars with smart entry technologies are easy targets for hackers. They use a key fob amplifier that tricks your car and the fob believing that they are physically close to each other. Consequently, the system allows access to a vehicle. Do you want to protect yourself from a potential thief? Then read the following steps below to find out more on how to increase your security level. 

  1. First of all, never make stealing your car easier for thieves – do NOT leave a vehicle running while you are not inside of it. This can even attract other people to steal an unprotected car.
  2. Try to remove all the valuable things that are visible from the windows. It will make your car less appealing to thieves and sends a clear message that there is nothing inside to steal.
  3. If possible, park your vehicle inside a garage and lock it. It will make it impossible for others to hijack your car.
  4. Installing GPS tracking – it is not a preventing measure, but helps you to locate your vehicle if someone decides to steal it.
  5. Call the police – if you witness any stranger or a suspicious person trying to open a car, do not hesitate to call the local police. This may save your car and your time as well.

In addition, take into consideration that most of the drivers leave their keys (fobs) near the front door. As it constantly exports the signal, relay attackers always try to catch a frequency with a key fob signal amplifier in front of your house. There are several useful methods to prevent it from happening. First, save your key fob as far from your car as possible. You can also put your keys into a metal container that interferes radio waves to spread easily. As this method does not guarantee safety, different tech companies are working to create the best solution to the existing challenge. As time passes by the technologies are becoming more flexible and useful. Consequently, you can now check the innovative technology that guarantees your security and protects your vehicle from thieves.

Secure FOB – easy and effective solution

The Secure FOB is a highly advanced technology that guarantees security for your vehicle. It allows transmitting any radio signals only when the key fob is in motion. Companies tried to develop a solution against ever-growing threats. As mentioned above, there are specific precautions you can take in order to protect yourself. However, they are either not fully effective or extremely uncomfortable in practical usage. So, what is the point of having a comfortable smart entry technology if you can’t safely benefit from it? 

Fortunately, there is a solution that does not require any sacrifice from you. Thanks to the Secure FOB it is practically impossible for anyone to hack your car using an amplifier because it simply does not allow any radio frequency until you are in motion. How is it even possible? A little chip is installed on the battery inside the key fob, that detects the motion. If the fob is not moving the chip blocks the fob from transmitting any radio frequency waves. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how long thieves will wait for the signal, they will never receive the one from your keys. More importantly, you do not need any extra devices or a bag to put your key fob in. All you need to do is nothing at all! This smart technology does everything for you without extra effort from your side. Hence, you have your security and comfort at the same time. You can always find out more about keyless protector and purchase your favourite one for your vehicle online. 

Takeaway

The Key fob amplifier has become the greatest challenge for car manufacturers. A smart entry system is a comfortable technology but an easy target for thieves. Using a simple and cheap amplifier they can clone the signal from your key fob, booster it and unlock vehicles. However, there is a proper solution to this issue that keeps both your security and comfort available. The Secure FOB is an innovative way to respond to modern challenges in a technological era.

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