Car thieves have found a new technique that allows them to steal cars in minutes. They gain access to the vehicle via the headlight and can steal it unnoticed, as a case in London shows. There is an ingenious trick behind it.
Gone are the days of crowbars and ignition short circuits. A tricking of the radio key is now getting old. Car thieves now use completely different systems to trick a vehicle’s electronics. Because not only the cars are becoming increasingly modern with a switch to electromobility, but also the form of theft.
Ian Tabor from London had to experience it himself. His fate is in the media: in April 2022 he reported vandalism on his car for the first time on Twitter. The front bumper and part of the paneling had been torn off, as had the headlight wiring connector. Three months later again: This time he was annoyed by defective headlights and even more cracks in the paint. A little later, however, the plug-in hybrid disappeared. And: Tabor’s neighbor’s car, also a Toyota model, was also stolen. The vehicle was equipped with intelligent safety systems and an immobilizer, according to Tabor’s colleague Ken Tindell, who wrote in detail about the incident a few days ago on his technology blog “Canis Automotive Labs”.
Tabor, who happens to be an automotive cybersecurity researcher, got to the bottom of the mysterious disappearance of his car. He initially looked at Toyota’s “MyT” telematics system. After all, the control units in modern cars are networked with one another using so-called CAN (Controller Area Network) bus technology and enable diagnostics to be generated. If there is no communication between the control units, the system assumes that there is an error, which would then be displayed in the “MyT” app on the vehicle owner’s smartphone.