When you typically think of people stealing cars, you imagine a dude in a hoodie breaking open the underside of an automobile's steering column, cutting two wires, and sparking them bad boys together until the car magically jumps to life.
Or that awesome scene in Die Hard With A Vengeance where Bruce Willis jams a screwdriver into Yugo's ignition and manages to drive the thing into a tunnel.
Older, cheaper cars are really easy to steal and a whole new of technological advancements have halted those more rudimentary thieving methods.
But these latest technological leaps have opened cars up to being hacked with devices exactly like this.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau is warning people of a mystery device that hijacks the signal of your car's remote unlock tool. The box then mimics that signal and opens your car, fooling your vehicle into thinking it was opened up with a regular old key.
They originally came into contact with a device like this back in 2013, but managed to finally get their hands on one to see how it worked.
Apparently my car can be hacked and stolen with shit from Radioshack (thanks Mr Robot.) Just to see if its true I've ordered the damn device— nudememphis (@nudememphis) September 9, 2016
The scary part is you can buy this device from a variety of electronics retailers. The NICB tested a device called the "Relay Attack" and posted the unnerving results online.
They tested the device on 35 cars. They were able to unlock 19 of them and drive away in 18. 12 of the 18 were able to shut off and restart again.
"The scary part is that there’s no warning or explanation for the owner. Unless someone catches the crime on a security camera, there’s no way for the owner or the police to really know what happened," says NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle.
The car needs to be a push button vehicle for the "Relay Attack" and similar devices to work, and seeing that the majority of new vehicles employ this technology, it's hard to feel comfortable knowing that anyone out there with a little bit of money and a desire to steal cars won't get their hands on your whip. (h/t mashable)