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post #21 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 12:35 PM
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That method isn't as simple as you describe. There's no control module under the steering column that controls vehicle security. The only control module that stores key fob codes and compares them to received RF fob signals is the BCM that is located in the passenger side wheel well behind the dash side finisher. Accessing the BCM to swap out with another BCM also requires reconfiguration of the new BCM with a CONSULT tool, otherwise the BCM will not function properly. While this procedure is technically possible, the time required to do this would take too long for the comfort of most car thieves.

A lot simpler and faster method being used to spoof PKES (Passive Keyless Entry Systems) these days is the "relay attack" method. Using readily available power amplifiers and circuitry from the internet, criminals can boost the low frequency signal from one of your key fobs while it's in your house and relay it to the BCM. These "black boxes" can have a range of up to 1000 feet. The car thinks the fob is next to the car and allows the car to be unlocked and started in a matter of seconds. Driving out of range of the key fob will not stop the engine but only display a PKES error stating the key fob is out of range.

There is also another method that has been shown to work but is more complex. This requires a laptop and RF transmitter than can bombard the BCM with thousands of authorization codes until the right one is selected and the car is unlocked and able to be started.

These relay attack boxes are becoming more prevalent and certainly puts the Q50 and any other car that uses PKES in danger of burglary or car theft. If this is a concern to you because of your neighborhood and that your car is parked outside of a locked garage, then there is a simple way to thwart these relay attack boxes. Put your key fobs in a Faraday Cage to block the fob's RF signal from being detected.

There are RF shielded security pouches you can put your fob in (eg. FobGuard) that you can buy or you can simply fashion your own Faraday Cage by making a pouch out of aluminum foil and putting your fob inside. This is similar to products that provide protection from people walking by you with black boxes and reading your credit card's chip information while it's in your wallet or purse.
Yes that is a popular way as well but in South Florida they are doing it the way you described first. They know this because when they are arresting people they have extra modules and keys that go with them. Infiniti has also said this way would work. I was told it’s under the steering wheel but I don’t think they know exactly where it is just that there using new modules.



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post #22 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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I started this thread and now I'm very paranoid. What have I done?
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post #23 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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The problem with PKES is that the current systems don't actually measure the distance between the key fob and the car. They assume the key is next to the car even if a relay attack device is used. A different radio technology, UWB 9 (Ultra Wide Band) would be required to measure the distance. It uses short radio pulses which allow it to measure the time at which signals arrive very accurately so distance can be inferred. However, additional cryptography needs to be implemented by car manufacturers

I've thought about installing a hidden fuel pump switch that I can cut the fuel pump power off with and would be independent of the vehicle security system. If I lived in a high-crime area, I'd already have one. It's tough to start a car without fuel!
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post #24 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by avedis53 View Post
that method isn't as simple as you describe. There's no control module under the steering column that controls vehicle security. The only control module that stores key fob codes and compares them to received rf fob signals is the bcm that is located in the passenger side wheel well behind the dash side finisher. Accessing the bcm to swap out with another bcm also requires reconfiguration of the new bcm with a consult tool, otherwise the bcm will not function properly. While this procedure is technically possible, the time required to do this would take too long for the comfort of most car thieves.

A lot simpler and faster method being used to spoof pkes (passive keyless entry systems) these days is the "relay attack" method. Using readily available power amplifiers and circuitry from the internet, criminals can boost the low frequency signal from one of your key fobs while it's in your house and relay it to the bcm. These "black boxes" can have a range of up to 1000 feet. The car thinks the fob is next to the car and allows the car to be unlocked and started in a matter of seconds. Driving out of range of the key fob will not stop the engine but only display a pkes error stating the key fob is out of range.

There is also another method that has been shown to work but is more complex. This requires a laptop and rf transmitter than can bombard the bcm with thousands of authorization codes until the right one is selected and the car is unlocked and able to be started.

These relay attack boxes are becoming more prevalent and certainly puts the q50 and any other car that uses pkes in danger of burglary or car theft. If this is a concern to you because of your neighborhood and that your car is parked outside of a locked garage, then there is a simple way to thwart these relay attack boxes. Put your key fobs in a faraday cage to block the fob's rf signal from being detected.

There are rf shielded security pouches you can put your fob in (eg. Fobguard) that you can buy or you can simply fashion your own faraday cage by making a pouch out of aluminum foil and putting your fob inside. This is similar to products that provide protection from people walking by you with black boxes and reading your credit card's chip information while it's in your wallet or purse.
yep....+1....1,000,000x

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post #25 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 01:30 PM
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I started this thread and now I'm very paranoid. What have I done?
You should go take a 2 year security course in I.T and tell me how you feel after that.


Jokes aside the end of the day you have two choices, either you do something to mitigate the risks or you ignore the problem.
In either case you do yourself no favors by worrying about it what "Could happen".

If your really worried about car theft install a Kill switch on the fuel pump per Avedis's post is a great way to
prevent your car being stolen.
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post #26 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 01:41 PM
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Yes that is a popular way as well but in South Florida they are doing it the way you described first. They know this because when they are arresting people they have extra modules and keys that go with them. Infiniti has also said this way would work. I was told it’s under the steering wheel but I don’t think they know exactly where it is just that there using new modules.
From what you've described, I would hazard to guess that the CONSULT tool may not be necessary to spoof the car with a different BCM. Still, the time necessary to gain access to the car interior plus acquiring access to the existing BCM and swapping the connectors to a different BCM would take too much time for the average car thief. One would also have to obtain BCMs and keys at some cost. An attack relay system is cheap to make with off-the-shelf parts and assembly directions are no doubt available on the internet somewhere. If I were so inclined, that's the way I'd go. In and out in seconds.
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post #27 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 02:09 PM
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As we have said, if they want your car or truck, they will take it, security system or not, my neighbors car was gone in five minutes, tow truck came and left, none of us heard anything, never did find it. Anything with remotes can be beaten, my garage door has opened up a few times, while I was home.
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post #28 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Avedis53 View Post
From what you've described, I would hazard to guess that the CONSULT tool may not be necessary to spoof the car with a different BCM. Still, the time necessary to gain access to the car interior plus acquiring access to the existing BCM and swapping the connectors to a different BCM would take too much time for the average car thief. One would also have to obtain BCMs and keys at some cost. An attack relay system is cheap to make with off-the-shelf parts and assembly directions are no doubt available on the internet somewhere. If I were so inclined, that's the way I'd go. In and out in seconds.
+1 Signal Capturing/Relay would be how I'd go about it as well. transceivers are dirt cheap and most manufactures are too lazy to even implement the most
basic protection into their systems

NFC does help mitigate this issue to a degree but still a long way to go.

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post #29 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 02:35 PM
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As we have said, if they want your car or truck, they will take it, security system or not, my neighbors car was gone in five minutes, tow truck came and left, none of us heard anything, never did find it. Anything with remotes can be beaten, my garage door has opened up a few times, while I was home.

Between the topic of this thread vs. a gun in the face.....give me the former!

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post #30 of 109 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 02:43 PM
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The one of the best ways to combat high-tech is to go low-tech, thus an independent fuel system kill switch. As stated above though, if criminals want your car bad enough, odds are they are going to find a way to steal it anyway.
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