Car owners warned to wrap keys in tinfoil to stop hi-tech thieves

Rob Waugh

Experts have come up with a way to protect car keys after a spate of thefts using wireless key technology – wrapping them in tin foil.

There’s a serious reason: it can block thieves using radio devices to ‘read’ your car key from outside your home.

Cybersecurity expert and ex-FBI agent Holly Hubert of GlobalSecurityIQ said, ‘Although it’s not ideal, it is the most inexpensive way.

‘The cyber threat is so dynamic and ever changing, it’s hard for consumers to keep up.’

So-called ‘relay thefts’ are on the rise in the UK, police and experts have warned.

MORE: Donald Trump ‘confident’ North Korea will denuclearise
MORE: Babies conceived during winter sex are less likely to struggle with their weight

Thieves use ‘relay boxes’ to pick up a signal from the keys, and then use that to open cars.

‘Relay boxes’ are sold online, and are designed to receive a signal from the car key inside a house and then transfer the signal to a second box next to the car.

The key to stopping such attacks is to create a ‘faraday cage’, which blocks electromagnetic signals – either by using foil, or devices such as fridges.

Experts advise homeowners to ensure your key is stored in a metal-lined container to stop thieves picking up the signal.

Police also say that you should keep your keys well away from the front of the house, as if they are by the front door it will very easy for thieves to pick up.