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There’s a new form of keyless car theft that works in under 2 minutes

Enlarge / Infrared image of a person jimmying open a vehicle. (credit: Getty Images)

When a London man discovered the front left-side bumper of his Toyota RAV4 torn off and the headlight partially dismantled not once but twice in three months last year, he suspected the acts were senseless vandalism. When the vehicle went missing a few days after the second incident, and a neighbor found their Toyota Land Cruiser gone shortly afterward, he discovered they were part of a new and sophisticated technique for performing keyless thefts.

It just so happened that the owner, Ian Tabor, is a cybersecurity researcher specializing in automobiles. While investigating how his RAV4 was taken, he stumbled on a new technique called CAN injection attacks.

The case of the malfunctioning CAN

Tabor began by poring over the “MyT” telematics system that Toyota uses to track vehicle anomalies known as DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes). It turned out his vehicle had recorded many DTCs around the time of the theft.

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