A team in Switzerland has discovered that it's possible to steal a car equipped with a 'keyless entry' system without leaving signs of forced entry.
The team successfully broke into and drove away in ten cars from eight manufacturers.
In order to 'steal' the cars, the team looked at how keyless entry systems work. The key needs to be within a set distance from the car to unlock it and allow the engine to start. So, using a pair of antennas and a hefty dollop of craftyness, they worked out that you can break into a car without the aid of a crowbar.
Now, if you're a car thief do read with interest – The first antenna needs to be close to the car, while the second needs to be within 8 metres of the key. The antenna close to the key transmits the signal to the antenna near the car and bingo - free car.
Two scenarios were devised to demonstrate the technique.
1) An owner leaves their keys near a window or door. Thieves place an antenna outside the house to communicate with the key, which in turn communicates with an antenna under the car and opens the car.
Pulling off this heist is relatively cheap, too. A wired set up will set wannabe crims back only $50, while wireless set ups cost between $100 - $1,000 depending on what kit is used.
Naturally, more exact details of the experiment weren't released...