2 men accused of stealing cars by hacking keyless entry code

2 men accused of stealing cars by hacking keyless entry code

Two Houston, TX men have been accused of stealing new Dodge and Jeep vehicles after using a laptop to reprogram the vehiclesê keyless security code to match the menês own car.

The stolen vehicles were unlocked with a software used by many Jeeps and Dodges. Police and Fiat Chrysler are investigating how the thieves got access to the computer code used by dealers and repair shops.

The thefts occurred a few days before a group of security experts presented a paper saying they had figured out how to hack a keyless entry system used by millions of Volkswagens, not to steal the car but to force entry without breaking a window. The paper, presented at the Usenix security conference in Austin, TX, was written by authors from the University of Birmingham and the German security firm Kasper & Oswald GmbH. The authors said a similar system could be used to hack Fords, Chevrolets and Renaults.

In a related matter, earlier this month, Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote to the Federal Communications Commission encouraging it to take specific steps to make vehicle hacking harder. The steps are centered around use of Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), which connected cars use to share speed, direction data and other transportation information to prevent accidents and reduce congestion. Sens. Markey and Blumenthal want automakers and anyone else licensed to use the DSRC spectrum to submit privacy and cybersecurity plans to the FCC.

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