Thieves Target Keyless Cars in Dartford Area, Leaving Victim Feeling Violated and Unsafe

Thieves have been targeting keyless cars in the Dartford area, with one recent victim claiming that her Toyota was stolen by “headlight hackers”. Kaye Milne, a local carer, has been left feeling violated and unsafe after her vehicle was taken from her home on Howard Road.

The incident, which occurred at 12:30am on January 2, was caught on CCTV. Milne discovered that two men, wearing balaclavas, had gained access to her car through its headlight and were able to steal it in just 127 seconds. This method, known as “headlight hacking”, involves accessing a car’s Controller Area Network bus, a system that allows devices within a vehicle to communicate with each other in real-time.

According to a technology weblog, ExtremeTech, thieves have been using a tool sold on the dark web to mimic a car’s key fob and gain access to the vehicle. By wiring in this tool, disguised as a Bluetooth speaker, they are able to unlock the car’s doors and even start the ignition. The car’s security system is unable to detect that it is not the real key fob being used.

Milne, who is a full-time carer for her 83-year-old mother, was shocked to discover that her car was vulnerable to this type of theft. She had no idea that “headlight hacking” was a possibility for keyless cars. The loss of her car has not only caused financial strain, but also psychological distress. She has been unable to sleep and feels unsafe in her own home, especially since the thieves were wearing balaclavas.

Although her insurance company was helpful in getting her a new car, Milne has decided to stay away from keyless cars in the future. She urges others to be aware of this type of theft and to consider the security of their vehicles before making a purchase. The police are currently investigating the incident and have asked for anyone with information to come forward.

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