Motorists Are Wrapping Car Key Fobs In Foil For An Important Reason

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Cybersecurity experts claim that the best way to store car keys at night is by placing them in a coffee can to avoid theft of the code — and ultimately, the vehicle. So what should a motorist do with them during the day while in the office or walking around?

According to Holly Hubert, a cybersecurity expert who retired from the FBI in 2017, people should wrap key fobs in aluminum foil, reports USA Today.

“Although it’s not ideal, it is the most inexpensive way,” Hubert said. “The cyber threat is so dynamic and ever changing, it’s hard for consumers to keep up.”

There is actually a snazzy little tool for this purpose which people can purchase online. As CEO of GlobalSecurityIQ, Hubert recommends clients go online and buy what’s called a Faraday bag — a container that shields the fob signal from potential theft. It looks like a sandwich bag that’s constructed of foil instead of plastic.

It’s important to protect cars and key fobs from easy theft. The car is constantly waiting for a signal from the fob, Hubert told USA Today. Criminals can purchase devices that intercept the fob signal as it sits idly in a purse, pocket, or on the counter at home. They then simply copy the code, and have instant easy access to the vehicle.

Thieves are able to capture fob signals while standing in the driveway outside a home or in a parking lot outside an office or hotel room. But these cheap metal protection covers, or even a simple sheet of aluminum foil, block an electromagnetic field.

Moshe Shlisel, CEO of GuardKnox Cyber Technologies, is a veteran of the Israeli Air Force who aided in the development of cyber-protection for fighter jets and missile defense systems.

“You know it works if you can’t unlock a car door when the fob is inside,” Shlisel said. “The credit card holders don’t work because they’re essentially a net rather than a wall.”

Shlisel met recently with automakers to try and protect their vehicles from such thefts, including Daimler for Mercedes-Benz vehicles and Volkswagen Group for Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen. He recorded his company’s engineers overpowering a semi-truck simply by using a cellphone, demonstrating just how vulnerable key fobs — and the vehicles they control — are to the latest technology, particularly when put in the hands of criminals.

“This should be something we don’t need to wrap with foil. It’s 2018. Car companies need to find a way so no one can replicate the messages and the communication between the key and the vehicle,” he said.

In the meantime, Shlisel also puts his key fob in a metal can wrapped in aluminum foil for an extra layer of protection. When venturing outside the home, he carries the fob for his 2017 Ford F-150 in a special pouch that’s fabric on the outside and foil on the inside.