Hacker Creates $30 Device that Can Unlock Cars


A hacker has crafted a device for around $30 that takes advantage of a vulnerability with keyless entry systems.

The device was created by the same hacker who recently exposed a possible hole in GM’s OnStar system, Samy Kamkar. Essentially, his device takes advantage of how rolling codes work, which are essentially codes that change every time so that no one can store or use the code later. For example, your remote key will send a unique code to your vehicle when you hit the “unlock” button and that code will never be used again. Although codes can’t be used twice, they also never expire, meaning if someone could figure out how to store the code, they can use it at a later date.

SEE ALSO: GM’s OnStar Also had a Hacking Vulnerability

That’s exactly what Kamkar has done with his device that he calls the RollJam. The RollJam, like his GM OnStar’s hack, has to be placed near the vehicle in order to work. Basically, the device jams the signal when someone tries to unlock the door so that the vehicle system doesn’t hear the first attempt. When the vehicle owner tries a second time, the device jams the signal again and steals a second code, but sends the first one back to unlock the doors. That means the hacker can store one code to be used whenever they want.

Kamkar has mainly tested the device on a Lotus Elise, because that’s what he has access to.

“This has been sort of a theoretical attack for many, many years. This is not by any means brand new or a big surprise. The problem is no one has really demonstrated it, which is funny because the solution to this problem has been known about for more than 20 years online and has been written about many times, but again no one has demonstrated it,” Kamkar said in an interview with Tech Insider.

[Source: Tech Insider]