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posted by janrinok on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:13AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the but-they-still-steal-the-contents dept.

The NYT reports that in 1990, New York City had 147,000 reported auto thefts, one for every 50 residents but last year, there were just 7,400, or one per 1,100 for a 96 percent drop in the rate of car theft. There's been a big shift in the economics of auto theft: Stealing cars is harder than it used to be, less lucrative and more likely to land you in jail. As such, people have found other things to do. The most important factor is a technological advance: engine immobilizer systems, adopted by manufacturers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These make it essentially impossible to start a car without the ignition key, which contains a microchip uniquely programmed by the dealer to match the car. "It's very difficult; not just your average perpetrator on the street is going to be able to steal those cars," says Capt. John Boller, who leads the New York Police Department's auto crime division. Instead, criminals have stuck to stealing older cars.

Now a startup in Chile is working on an unstealable bike by making a lock out of the frame. The only way to steal it is to break the lock, which implies breaking the bike. Or you could try painting your bicycle pink.

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  • (Score: 1) by captain normal on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:56AM

    by captain normal (2205) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:56AM (#80677)

    Just 2 weeks ago a friend of mine had his new Lexus stolen when he parked near the Wells Fargo Bank on Van Ness Ave in San Francisco. He was only in the bank for a few minutes, when he came out the car was gone. The police told him that thieves now have the ability to use the electronic locking system to open the car and start it.

    http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=9826 [net-security.org]
    http://www.cnet.com/news/expert-hacks-car-system-says-problems-reach-to-scada-systems/ [cnet.com]

    Maybe in New York City there is no reason to steal a car because no one drives there. More than half of New Yorkers don't own a car or even want one.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._cities_with_most_households_without_a_car [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:59AM (#80678)

      > there is no reason to steal a car because no one drives there

      Yogi is that you?

    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:11AM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:11AM (#80680)

      Time to install a manual disable switch.

      • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:14AM

        by cafebabe (894) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:14AM (#80692) Journal

        A friend of a friend had a valve on his fuel line. The car starts alright but it comes to a halt a few miles away.

        --
        1702845791×2
        • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:54PM

          by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:54PM (#80856)

          The added bonus to your solution (here in Ontario anyway) is that theft is generally covered by comprehensive insurance, where breaking into a car to steal it and failing is considered vandalism, which has a deductible.

      • (Score: 0) by anubi on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:28AM

        by anubi (2828) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:28AM (#80695) Journal

        My favorite is the undersized slow-blow fuse or timer in the ignition circuit.

        It lets the thief get the car started where he has it all nice and quiet... then the car goes right out on him right when he gets onto the highway - and now he's the center of attention.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @06:08AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @06:08AM (#80712) Journal

          So, let me get this straight...

          You park the car, open the hood, find the ignition circuit fuse, pull it, replace it with a undersized one, then close the hood, lock the car and walk away. Then you reverse the entire procedure upon return?

          And you do this every friggin time you park just on the OFF CHANCE your car might get stolen?

          Let me get my phone, I need to call 1800bulshit.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:02PM

            by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:02PM (#80838) Journal

            Eh, not necessarily. You could have:

            1. the deliberately undersized fuse in series with the correct fuse, rather than replacing it
            2. a relay which, when energized, shorts the undersized fuse, keeping it from blowing (the fuse and relay contacts will share current depending on their resistance -- if the fuse still pulls too much, add a diode in series with the fuse to drop a little voltage)
            3. a concealed momentary switch under the dash to pull that relay in initially
            4. a hold-in circuit on the relay, so as long as there's ignition power, it stays in

            Then it automatically arms whenever you turn the ignition off, and all you have to do is get in, start the engine, and push the button. If you forget or wait too long to push the button, then you get to go replace the fuse, and try again, but for normal operation you don't need to access the fuse box at all.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @09:47PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @09:47PM (#80984) Journal

              If you are going to put in a hidden switch, why in hell would you need anything more than a hidden additional momentary contact on the starter relay line?

              Why dick around with fuses which you then have to find a way to wire around?

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14 2014, @05:57PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14 2014, @05:57PM (#81361)

                If your objective is to prevent the car from being stolen, you're absolutely right.

                AIUI, anubi's objective is to cause trouble for anyone who steals his car, which makes some sort of delay-based immobilizer preferable, because a mysterious breakdown after you start the vehicle and get underway is more trouble than simply failing to start the vehicle and moving on to the next target.

            • (Score: 1) by anubi on Thursday August 14 2014, @07:43AM

              by anubi (2828) on Thursday August 14 2014, @07:43AM (#81134) Journal

              I did not go far enough... however you filled in the blanks pretty well. I have an old-style capacitive-discharge ignition circuit. It draws more amperage as the engine RPM increases. It pulls about 3 amps at 3000 RPM, so hiding a 2 amp slow-blow inline fuse and hidden bypass plug just gives me an opportunity to frustrate a theft attempt by introducing a delayed ignition failure. If it fails to start at first, the thief is just apt to trace it out and bypass it with a piece of clip wire. If everything appears to work normal, he starts the car, and it seems to work. I am hoping he will take it onto one of the main streets or freeway, where the now unbypassed fuse will blow and leave him with another troubleshooting exercise to do - but this time he's in everyone's way.

              Its an old carbureted car, so it's pretty easy to steal.

              So, in my case, I figured security by obscurity. There are many things that do not look like switches, but can be used as such. Simple things like a molex connector whose plug is just a loop-thru. Even 1/4" stereo phone plugs can make dandy little power receptacle/switch assemblies. You can remove the plug that bypasses the fuse when you feel you need a little extra security.

              If I really want to go whole hog on something like this, I remove the distributor rotor and take it with me. Useful when I abandon the car all day while hunting. However that requires a bit of finangling under the hood. Rotor removal does not prevent theft, but the guy has to go find another rotor or tow the car. Its no longer as simple as clipping a bypass wire in the right place.

              I like the gasoline valve idea Cafebabe posted. If I find a nice little 12V solenoid valve, I might put one of those in, too.

              --
              "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:58AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:58AM (#80700) Journal

      Your first link says:

      "This was no theoretical exercise, as the researchers were able to load new firmware onto their own circuit board and, by plugging the board into the car's internal network"
      so that means they had access to the inside of the car.

      Your Second Link says:

      "remotely by hacking the cellular network-based security system."
        or you have to have a cell plan for your car.
      ( a poor-mans "onstar" that uses cellular rather than satellites.

      Lexus Link was a private-labeled brand of OnStar, operating on Verizon Wireless' cellular network,
      which is probably what he had, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_Link [wikipedia.org]

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @09:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @09:48AM (#80743)

        All you really need to do is get the trunk popped, pretend you're putting stuff in it, get access to a can-bus line in the trunk, wire your doodad into it, and presto you've now got network access to some shiny expensive car.

        There are a couple catches here: if the car has motion sensors that would trigger the alarm, if there's a trunk latch trigger, if the unlock circuit and the ignition use different authorization mechanisms. Fundamentally however, wireless access can get you into the car and even if the ignition system is too secure to crack wherever you plan to steal it getting yourself physical access to the car's network is often enough to either bypass the immobilizer or reflash the pcm to ignore it.)

        I doubt anyone serious about stealing a current-generation high-line car doesn't use access to one to disassemble it to find exploits. Alternately they could use an auto shop's electronic service manual to map out possible weak spots, although this would put you at higher risk of failure since you haven't had a hands-on opportunity to see what will or won't trigger the alarm/immobilizer/tracking in a 'real' situation.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:35PM

          by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @01:35PM (#80799) Journal

          If the mirrors have CAN I/O for positioning them then the mirror can be popped out and the CAN bus accessed.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 13 2014, @11:11PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @11:11PM (#81020)

            It's possible they don't. I'm pretty sure my Volvo does not use CAN for the mirrors, but instead uses the simpler and much slower LIN bus [wikipedia.org]. CAN is used for higher-performance applications in the car.

    • (Score: 2) by Darth Turbogeek on Wednesday August 13 2014, @11:47AM

      by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @11:47AM (#80761)

      One of the truths about modern car theft is that the modern thief is less likely to be a joyrider or opportunist and more likely to be specifically targeting your car and has a flatbed.

      The best security systems dont work if you winch it onto the flatbed. A good grab crew can have your car gone in a few minutes. Sure there's the real high tech guys but frankly a flatbed is a pretty damn good way to steal a car.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by evilviper on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:49PM

        by evilviper (1760) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:49PM (#80854) Homepage Journal

        The best security systems dont work if you winch it onto the flatbed.

        LoJack does.

        A cell phone left under the seat does.

        --
        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:00AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:00AM (#80679) Journal

    There are quite a few stories that thieves have a Mystery Gadget [dcclothesline.com] to steal high end cars with keyless entry and ignition systems.

    Some reports are that they can just detect those cars where one of the fobs [manalapanpolice.org] was left in the car. Other say its much more sophisticated [americanownews.com] than that.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:25AM (#80684)

      It is pretty rare for a modern car to let you lock a fob inside the car. My 2008 infiniti won't let you lock the car with a fob if there is a fob in the car.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:39AM (#80687)

        Shouldn't the presence of a fob in the car allow you to unlock it by proximity?

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:37AM (#80697)

          > Shouldn't the presence of a fob in the car allow you to unlock it by proximity?

          It never lets you go to the point of unlocking since trying to lock with the fob on the inside makes it beep at you instead of locking. If you ignore the error beep and walk away then you've left the car unlocked.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:44AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:44AM (#80698) Journal

        Yes it will. The system can be tricked.
        http://www.myg37.com/forums/g37-coupe/215476-trunk-locked-with-keyfob-inside.html [myg37.com]

        Most cars won't let you lock a fob in the trunk or inside unless it can "see" another one outside.

        Lots of times my wife wants to lock her purse in the car when we go some place, and she can do this as long as I am standing close to the car with my fob in my pocket.

        Check your manual. Most of these systems are sourced from only two or three companies and they tend to operate the same.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by sjames on Wednesday August 13 2014, @05:36AM

          by sjames (2882) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @05:36AM (#80710) Journal

          From reading the link, it sounds like an incredibly buggy implementation to the point where it might be better if it didn't even try (given that it has tricked at least 2 people into relying on it).

          I wonder just how reliably the car can determine inside vs outside given that it's RF and a car isn't a Faraday cage.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @06:33AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @06:33AM (#80716) Journal

            You can trick the system in my car into believing there is a fob inside the car when you try to lock the door with the door panel buttons, and then close it. If you put the fob in your shirt pocket, it will read it through the window glass stronger than via the outside antenna.

            But its fail safe, in that it won't lock, it will beep, and your keys are safely in your pocket.

            Other than that it has never failed in any way. Even if the battery in the fob fails, there is a backup key lock (and a physical key hidden in the fob), and a RFID chip built into the other end of the fob that the start button can read. (Dodge/Chrysler models are all basically similar).

            Locking the fob in the trunk was an Infinity problem. Since corrected in later model years.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:04PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:04PM (#80814) Journal

      The mystery gadget could be a CAN transmitter that sends out unlock packets. If it blasts out enough RF and you are close to a CAN bus wire in the door/mirror, you can transmit packets to the CAN network. My guess would be that cars have the ability to disable the alarm if the door handle is opened from the inside or an unlock button is pressed. So you blast out a packet that mimics the unlock packet and bam, alarm disarmed and then blast out a door unlock packet.

      You could try to implement a security scheme like two-way auth but it is not as easy as it sounds.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 13 2014, @09:37PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @09:37PM (#80977) Journal

        I know my car will alarm if the doors are locked and the alarm is set with someone sitting in the back seat.
        (Back seats have no sensors, front seat weight delays alarm activation for a while). Then the person in the back seat decides to unlock the door and exit and the alarm goes off.

        Some speculate that the perps hang around and record the Fob when the user enters the car, then come back and steal it later.
        Others suggest that the survey cars to find one with one fob locked inside, and somehow mimic that fob to send an unlock command.
        Still have noted that they always trigger it while standing near the passenger window, never the driver side window.

        I wonder how it is that not one of these devices has fallen into the hands of authorities or car manufacturers? (Not that either would advertise that fact).

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:30AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 13 2014, @02:30AM (#80685) Journal
    Just not pink. But a bright orange or something more unusual [blogspot.com] may do.
    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:17AM

      by cafebabe (894) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:17AM (#80693) Journal

      I prefer the watermelon car [themetapicture.com] but I wish that the red interior had black pips.

      --
      1702845791×2
  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday August 13 2014, @05:48AM

    by Tork (3914) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @05:48AM (#80711)
    There's a Lamborghini near where I live that is painted a shade of orange that ambitious highlighter manufacturers would love to crack the secret of. Hard to imagine it getting stolen.
    --
    Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Wednesday August 13 2014, @07:49AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @07:49AM (#80726) Journal

    As in "One Word!"

    And the word is :Darryl Issa, of California. Made his living stealing cars. Then moved into selling car alarms to prevent auto-theft. Now a member of Congress. Progress, I ask you all?

    --
    Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
    • (Score: 2) by dcollins on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:19PM

      by dcollins (1168) on Wednesday August 13 2014, @03:19PM (#80845) Homepage

      New Yorker magazine this month has an article (by Malcolm Gladwell) theorizing that traditionally it's quite common for parts of immigrant communities to start criminal enterprises and then shift to respectable professions in about 2 generations. Although it happens less now because the current criminal element is in black communities, and due to racism they get flooded with cops and arrests and summonses, and no one minds the imbalance.

      http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/11/crooked-ladder [newyorker.com]