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posted by takyon on Sunday June 04, @12:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the wrangled dept.

Federal and California state law enforcement authorities have broken up a sophisticated auto-theft ring run by a Tijuana-based motorcycle club that swiped 150 Jeep Wranglers in San Diego County over the past several years. The Jeeps, worth $4.5 million, were sold in Mexico or stripped for parts that were then sold in Mexico.

Authorities said the thieves exploited a design feature of the Jeep Wrangler, gained access to a proprietary database that contains codes used to create duplicate keys for each car and then used a high-tech computer to get away with the cars.

Thieves would target a Jeep in a San Diego neighborhood, getting the critical vehicle identification number. Armed with that, they accessed the key database, which contained two special codes: one for creating a pattern to make a new key and the second that programmed a computer chip in the key that was linked to the car's computer system.

It's not precisely clear how the thieves got access to the database, but a car dealership in Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja peninsula appears to be involved.

Link: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-countywide-crime-20170530-story.html


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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 04, @12:09AM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 04, @12:09AM (#520024) Journal

    Jeep claims that 150 of their cars are worth $4.5 million. Some Jeep owners would argue that claim.

    --
    This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @12:45AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @12:45AM (#520031)

      And most would agree. Or they wouldn't be Jeep owners.

      Most Jeep ownership is by choice.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @01:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @01:47AM (#520056)

      That's only $30K per jeep.
      Pricing on high end jeeps is nearly double that.

  • (Score: 2) by DrkShadow on Sunday June 04, @12:41AM (2 children)

    by DrkShadow (1404) on Sunday June 04, @12:41AM (#520030)

    But of course it goes without saying:

    Backdoors in encryption are _safe_, and the only ones that will have the backdoor keys are the US gub'mint. They'll only be used to prosecute criminals!!

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday June 04, @12:58AM (1 child)

      by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 04, @12:58AM (#520036) Journal

      Backdoors are safe(R) as you only need to trust us(tm). We are infallible(C) which will prevent all misstakes. Only terrorists would not want a backdoor in their ass, you are not a terrorist are you?? ;-)

      Now I'll return to backdooring my female friend..

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @08:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @08:39AM (#520143)

        Backdoors are safe to thrust us. Presumely from behind.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday June 04, @12:51AM (2 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 04, @12:51AM (#520033) Journal

    Anyone else thinking that creating a DIY key mechanism can thwart this because it will be unusual and unexpected for the systematic electronic car thief?

    It would be executed by connecting directly to the key system antenna input and preventing it to receive any over the air signal. A small microcontroller will then send the correct code, IF it itself receives the proper code over it's own radio interface. A question is how accessible the antenna connector(s) are and if they can be screened Faraday style from any over the air signals. Anyone that have looked into the antenna system for the key system?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @01:52AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @01:52AM (#520058)

      > Anyone else thinking that creating a DIY key mechanism can thwart this because it will be unusual and unexpected

      And by definition it would be useless for the average owner because widespread use would make it usual and expected.

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 05, @06:56PM

      by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 05, @06:56PM (#520903) Journal

      Have you seen that latest Mad Max movie? At one point the chick mentions having switches configured to disable to fuel pump unless the right sequence is entered. I imagine that kind of system would be just as effective and significantly easier to implement. All you need to do is insert some kind of vaguely hidden switch connect to the power rails of some vital electrical component and that car isn't driving anywhere. Doesn't even need to be encoded really, even if it's a switch labeled "PUSH BUTTON TO START" stuffed inside the glovebox a criminal like this would never find it. They'd put in the key, the car wouldn't start, and they'd move on. They aren't going to screw around trying to diagnose and repair the issue.

      Of course if everybody does it in the same way that won't work so well (so don't make a business of it), and if someone is truly dedicated to take YOUR SPECIFIC car they could find a way to bypass it...but it'd be sufficient to secure just your own vehicle against these kinds of opportunistic criminals.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @12:54AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @12:54AM (#520034)

    One more example of why its bad to have all these damned electronic systems in our vehicles.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Sunday June 04, @01:07AM (5 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 04, @01:07AM (#520040) Journal

      The problem is incompetently designed electronic key systems. Not electronic systems per se.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @01:38AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @01:38AM (#520052)

        I was speaking globally, *ALL* electronic control systems in cars is bad, not just the keylock system. That was just another example.

        ( you can keep them out of my house too.. I do NOT need my damned toaster online... )

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday June 04, @01:53AM (3 children)

          by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 04, @01:53AM (#520059) Journal

          So they are all incompetent. The problem is not a bad concept, but crappy implementation. It can be made very secure.

          • (Score: 2) by lx on Sunday June 04, @10:53AM (2 children)

            by lx (1915) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 04, @10:53AM (#520168)

            That's like saying communism can work even though history has shown us otherwise.

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday June 04, @11:41AM (1 child)

              by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 04, @11:41AM (#520175) Journal

              The problem in the example system is that the number plate or VIN can at all be used to get a clue on the cryptographic key(s). The second is that there is a database at all that contains cryptographic key material that can be used to gain access. Remove these possibilities and it becomes much harder to compromise the lock.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05, @05:15PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05, @05:15PM (#520845)

                The proposed value in the system is that only dealer produced keys can start the vehicle, and that owner's can obtain replacement keys when needed. How could a dealership provide a user with a replacement key without storing the key related info required to create that key?

                If a dealership can create a replacement key, a third party could as well, once they had all the info the dealership does.

                Car keys are basically security by obscurity and there aren't many other options. (The requirement that a replacement can be created means there is not a singular "something you have" but the obscured knowledge of creating the right key for that car...)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @03:02AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @03:02AM (#520070)

    Jeep killed Pavel Chekov. [telegraph.co.uk]
    Fuck them.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @07:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @07:47AM (#520135)

      Chekov choose his own fate. [treknews.net]

      High budget cosplayers need not apply.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @08:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, @08:54AM (#520147)

    Now would ya punk?!

  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Sunday June 04, @07:00PM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 04, @07:00PM (#520318)

    See? Mexico IS sending very bright, motivated, and hard-working people!

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Sunday June 04, @11:58PM

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 04, @11:58PM (#520457)

    how was the gang named? Jeepers Creepers?

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