Car Thieves Use Texting To Steal

08/20/2011 06:30 PM ET

In a new way to keep up with the times car thieves can use texts to break into vehicles to steal them. Computer hackers using technology to their advantage can send a message to your vehicle unlocking the doors via a text. That is possible because car alarms, GPS systems and other devices are increasingly connected to cellular telephone networks and thus can receive commands through text messaging.

Don Bailey and Mat Solnik, researchers from security firm iSec Partners, demonstrated the attack on a Subaru Outback, using a laptop to send their messages and break into the vehicle. The hack could apply to high-end security systems like OnStar, although Bailey and Solnik wouldn't reveal whose system they cracked. "Their findings show that text messaging is no longer limited to short notes telling friends you're running late or asking if they're free for dinner," the AP said.

Though it sounds very scary it might not be as easy as it seems, As the AP article goes on to explain, hackers need a specific phone number to break into an in-car security system. To get that number, they must run a certain kind of network administration program, which can probe for vulnerable security devices by make and model. Then, the thief must get close to the target vehicle and run a hacking tool to see if that car is using a security system. Still, they are working on solving the remote threat.

The makes and models of vehicles most frequently stolen vary by several factors, including region and ease of theft. In recent years in the United States, some models often on the theft lists include Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Acura Integra, Jeep Cherokee, and Cadillac Escalade. In Thailand, the most frequently stolen vehicles are Toyota and Nissan cars, Isuzu pickup trucks, Honda cars, and Honda motorcycles.

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