relay attack

London, a bustling metropolis, offers a vibrant tapestry of culture, commerce and history.

However, amidst its grandeur, lies a shadowy underworld of car crime that many of us don’t see, but can be easily impacted by.

From thefts to vandalism, the city’s streets witness a myriad of automotive misdemeanours.

In this blog, we delve into the depths of car crime in London that we touched upon in a previous post, exploring the latest statistics, the methods employed by thieves and crucial tips for prevention.

Unveiling the Scale of Car Crime in London

The streets of London, like most capital cities, have long been plagued by car-related criminal activities, with theft being a significant concern.

According to recent statistics released by the Metropolitan Police, car theft remains a prevalent issue, with thousands of vehicles reported stolen each year.

In 2023 alone, over 25,000 vehicles were reported stolen across London, highlighting the persistent threat posed by car crime in the city.

Furthermore, the data reveals that certain boroughs bear a disproportionate burden of car theft. Areas such as Westminster, Camden and Hackney frequently feature among the hotspots for car crime, indicating a geographical concentration of criminal activity.

These statistics underscore the urgent need for enhanced vigilance and preventive measures to combat car crime effectively and that’s where we come in.

The Tactics of Thieves: Unraveling the Methods Behind Car Theft

Car thieves are adept at exploiting vulnerabilities in vehicles, employing a variety of tactics to accomplish their nefarious objectives. For every new protection, they will (eventually) find a way around it.

One of the most common methods utilised by criminals is keyless car theft, also known as relay theft.

This sophisticated technique involves intercepting the signal that emanates between a key fob and the vehicle, allowing thieves to gain unauthorised access and drive away undetected.

Moreover, thieves often target vehicles parked in secluded or poorly lit areas, where the risk of detection is minimised. Areas like this are often in abundance in cities like London.

Opportunistic criminals may also resort to old-school techniques such as smashing windows or forcibly entering vehicles to steal valuables or even the entire car! No method is off-limit to the most determined car thief.

In addition to traditional theft methods, technology has facilitated the emergence of cyber-enabled car crime. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities within in-vehicle software systems to remotely access and control cars, bypassing traditional security measures. This is becoming particularly widespread as we move towards electric cars and the centralised software they use. Incidentally, if you do have an electric vehicle, you might want to check out this blog.

Strategies to Thwart Car Theft

While the threat of car crime looms large, there are several proactive measures that vehicle owners can adopt to safeguard their prized possessions.

Invest in Anti-Theft Devices: Installing relatively primitive but more visible protections like steering wheel locks, wheel clamps and gearstick guards can serve as effective deterrents against theft. These physical barriers make it significantly more challenging for thieves to abscond with a vehicle because it will take more time, reducing the likelihood of successful theft attempts.

Utilise Tracking Systems: Tracking devices, like those sold in our store, enables owners and the Police to monitor the whereabouts of vehicles in real time. In the event of theft, these systems facilitate swift recovery efforts, increasing the chances of apprehending the culprits and retrieving the stolen vehicle.

Secure Parking: Opting for secure parking facilities equipped with surveillance cameras and adequate lighting can substantially reduce the risk of car theft. Well-lit areas and monitored parking garages serve as deterrents to potential thieves, making it less likely for them to target parked vehicles.

Be Vigilant with Key Management: To mitigate the risk of keyless car theft, owners should adopt precautionary measures such as storing key fobs in signal-blocking pouches (known as Faraday cases) or investing in signal-blocking cases. Additionally, avoiding leaving keys or spare key fobs unattended can help prevent unauthorised access to vehicles.

Stay Updated on Security Measures: Regularly updating vehicle software and security systems is paramount in thwarting cyber-enabled car crime. Manufacturers often release patches and updates to address potential vulnerabilities, including any apps that accompany tracking systems, ensuring that vehicles remain resilient against emerging threats.

Community Vigilance: Establishing neighbourhood watch programs or community initiatives focused on combating car crime fosters a collective sense of security. By encouraging vigilance and prompt reporting of suspicious activities, communities can effectively deter criminals and safeguard against potential threats. You could, for example, set up a WhatsApp group with neighbours to help highlight areas of concern in your street.

Car crime in London, or anywhere for that matter, represents a multifaceted challenge, characterised by evolving tactics and persistent threats.

While the latest statistics underscore the scale of the problem, proactive measures and community engagement offer a beacon of hope in the fight against automotive crime, particularly if a car tracker is fitted.

By fortifying your vehicle’s defences (one of our incredible trackers won’t hurt), staying abreast of emerging threats and remaining vigilant, vehicle owners like us can navigate the urban landscape in London and further afield with greater confidence, safeguarding our prized possessions from the clutches of car crime.

Our dedicated Customer Support team can help you find the perfect tracker for you, whether you live in London or Loughborough, John O’Groats to Land’s End. Our installation team can come to your home or your place of work at a time and date to suit you. Just give us a call on 0330 043 3993 between 9am and 6pm, Mon – Fri and we’ll get your car, van, motorhome or motorbike secured in no time.

For all the advances in car security we enjoy today, for all the cutting-edge technology that goes into keeping our vehicles safe and secure, there will be thieves who are always only one step behind.

Whilst London and the West Midlands might lead the way in terms of car theft hot spots, making up for 68% of all thefts, nowhere is immune from this disease. Everyone, every car and every location are at risk.

In years gone by, car theft was a fairly primitive exercise. Thieves would either use a thin piece of metal behind the window to unlock your car or they’d just smash the window completely to gain access. Once inside, they’d smash your steering column, pull the wires, hot-wire the ignition to get it started and be gone.

With both cars and the technology behind them becoming much more advanced, the thieves have had to adapt too, but what methods does the modern car thief use to steal your car these days? Let’s take a look.

RELAY ATTACK

The modern car thief is often not one person at all. Given how basic car security used to be, thieves of the past were more opportunistic, but that’s not the case now.

Many of the cars stolen in the modern day are done by gangs of car thieves, often stealing cars, bikes, motorhomes or trucks to order based on their specifications. Having a team behind them is useful when carrying out one of the most common methods of stealing a car, and that’s through a relay attack.

With many modern cars coming with keyless entry or remote locking as standard, thieves are exploiting this technology that we often take for granted.

Relay attacks involve a group of thieves working in unison to clone the signal your keys emit to unlock your car.

As most people drop their key just inside the front door when they go in, one person will stand just outside your home with a transmitter and send the signal to another standing next to the car with a receiver.

This signal then relays from the key fob to the transmitter, to the receiver and to the car unlocking it without you even realising it. Once inside, they can just drive away thanks to the keyless start. This method is so prolific that 99.2% of all car thefts reported were stolen by leveraging their own keyless entry system.

You can protect yourself from this by keeping your keys away from the door or kept in a Faraday box, or bag, which blocks the signal from escaping. If that’s not possible, just keep your keys as far away as possible from the point of entry.

TRANSPONDER KEY CLONING

Whilst car thieves are bad enough, they sometimes have help from those you might least expect. Transponder key cloning can happen when you take your car into a dodgy garage, car valet or parking service, or in fact anywhere where you need to leave your car keys with them.

If that business has some unscrupulous types within it, they can take your key, often left with them while they do the work on your vehicle, then thanks to the unique code within it that your car recognises, they will copy that same code onto a blank key, which can easily be bought online. You get your key back, none the wiser of what’s happened.

Unbeknownst to you, now they have a perfect duplicate of your car’s key, so will come and steal your car maybe a day, week or month later.

If you are leaving your car with a service like this, always try and use a business where you can check their credentials or use one that’s been recommended. Check how long they’ve been in business and always be comfortable before handing it over.

It can be impossible to know if this type of key cloning has happened, so always add extra layers of security to your vehicle when it’s at home or not in use. These can be additional physical deterrents like steering wheel locks, wheel clamps or gear-stick locks. Anything that will deter and slow down a car thief will help.

TRACK IT BACK

There’s no denying that, if a thief is determined enough and has the necessary resources, if they want to steal a car, they will. Whether it’s through cutting-edge technology or just sheer brute force, so while stealing it is their thing, getting it back is ours, and that’s where a tracker comes into play.

Take a look at our store and you’ll be sure to find a tracker that suits you. Should the worst happen and your pride and joy is stolen, you’ll be assured knowing that whether you drive a luxury car, a practical van, an adrenaline-fueled motorbike or a mobile motorhome there will be a tracking device to suit it.

With trackers offering 24/7 control centre monitoring, location tracking via a smartphone app and a host of alerts and notifications, you can keep on top of your vehicle’s position and, should it be stolen, you can track it and recover it in no time at all.

 Don’t become a victim of these and other types of car thefts.

 Make your vehicle as secure as possible with a tracker from Infiniti Tracking.

We can come and install your tracker anywhere in the mainland UK at a time and place that suits you.

If you’re unsure about the best tracker for you, call and speak to our team, who are available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday, on 0330 043 3993 and we help. We have the knowledge and experience to find you the perfect tracker.

With the cold weather looming, Christmas on its way (we know!) and the cost of heating going through the sunroof, it’s time to turn your attention to securing your vehicle over the winter.

With the new year approaching, the peak months for many car thefts, making sure your car, motorhome, motorbike or sleigh is secure is going to be vital in having a peaceful, stress-free festive period.

With that in mind, we thought it would be useful to give you some fantastic tips to help you secure your vehicle this winter.

WINTER IS COMING

One of the most common ways thieves can steal your car isn’t through a technically advanced technique involving gadgets or trickery, it’s by getting in and driving away with your own key!

Frost-jacking, as it’s known, occurs when you leave your car unattended to warm up.

As you try to get yourself and the family ready for school or work, many people will go out and start their car, then leave it alone.

They will allow it to idle, either to warm up the interior or defrost the windscreens after a snow shower or frosty morning (often both). This obviously involves leaving your key in the ignition and vehicle unattended, but that’s the problem.

Thieves, often opportunists, will walk around neighbourhoods looking for this exact pattern. When they see an unattended vehicle ticking over, they simply get in and drive away.

The easiest way to stop yourself becoming a victim to frost-jacking is obviously not to do it. Do not leave your car unattended with the engine running!

Most modern cars warm up very quickly and many come with heated windscreens, so there’s often no real need to anyway. If you can cover it overnight to protect it from snow and frost, then there will be even less reason to, and less opportunity for thieves to steal your vehicle.

A KEY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE KEY TO CAR THEFT

Just a couple of years ago, 92% of the cars that were stolen from homes were done so without the use of a key. Whilst that figures sounds staggering, and it is, remember many modern cars don’t come with a traditional key anyway, but that hasn’t stopped thieves from exploiting the technology to their own gains.

To steal your keyless entry car, many car thieves use a technique called a Relay Attack.

This involves a team of thieves, one of which stands near your door (they’ll rely on the fact you’ll store your car keys near your front door) and by using a device to scan for the signal omitted by your key fob, transmit the signal to their accomplice who’s next to you car with a receiver.

Once the signal is received, your car will open and off they’ll drive. To combat this, there are trackers that can help.

SCORPION HAS A WINTER STING

The ScorpionTrack S5 VTS and its big brother the S5+ with immobilisation are both designed and manufactured to the Police’s preferred specification.

Not only that, they both will help protect your vehicle from Relay Attack in addition to key cloning and On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) hacking.

 Stay warm with a collection of incredible trackers to keep you moving this winter.

 Benefit from UK-wide installation from our team of accredited engineers.

 Don’t fall victim to winter car crime.

20 winters have come and gone since we started Infiniti Tracking. so we can be confident that you will get the best products at the best prices, with installation available throughout the UK. Don’t be left out in the cold, our team is available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 to help you get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing your car is secured this winter, and for years to come.

We recently started a series of blogs looking at the top ten car crime hotspots in the UK. If you missed them, you can take a look at the ones we did for Leicester and Slough. Those were based on figures released in 2021, but in the meantime, the latest statistics including those for the first half of 2022 have been released.

If you live in Leicester or Slough, there’s good news….. and bad. Leicester has dropped from #1 to #7 and Slough has disappeared from the Top 10 entirely. Sadly, these lists still exist because car crime is still virulent in the UK and for those of you living in South London, specifically Croydon, it’s time to take a serious look at your vehicle security.

In a survey released by insurance giant Direct Line using their wealth of national claim data, they have identified Croydon as the number one in UK’s car crime hotspot chart. The list doesn’t just include thefts of vehicles, but also vehicle crime as a proportion of all crime reported and vehicle crime per 1000 people to give an overall outlook of the nation as a whole.

BIG CITY. BIG PROBLEM.

Car Crime

It’s probably no great surprise that the areas of London would feature highly in any list like this. Croydon in the south of the city, which topped the list, recorded over 6005 car crimes in one year, that’s over 16 car crimes reported every single day for a year! When you look at the big picture, even taking London as a whole, there are 113 car crimes for every 10,000 people.

Nearly 10% of all crimes recorded in the capital involved a vehicle. In other words, it recorded more than 321,000 crimes over the past three years, or 293 every single day!

CAR THIEVES BECOME MORE BRAZEN

With this explosion in car theft, you might be thinking that you only need to look at how to secure your vehicle at night, but you’d be wrong. This, and many other pieces of research, all point to the fact that thieves are becoming more brazen in their attempt to steal your vehicle.

If you analyse the data, you’d see that most vehicles are targeted whilst parked outside their owner’s home. That could be on the road outside or even on a private driveway. They accounted for 27% and 39% respectively. Back in 2009/10, car crimes committed during the day only accounted for 19% of those crimes. A decade or so later on, it’s now over 35%, but there is something you can do to fight back.

Many Police chiefs warn that thieves are exploiting keyless entry systems, especially as that technology becomes more common in our cars, bikes and motorhomes.

DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF CAR CRIME.

For all the doom and gloom these studies might illustrate, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Some of the most effective solutions to keep your vehicle safe are things that don’t cost you anything. Keeping your vehicle secured behind a locked garage door or gate, stored / parked in a well-lit area, particularly at night, will go a long way to helping keep it safe.

In an effort to counter-act the threat from keyless entry theft there are also some simple measures you can take. Store your keys away from your front door and, if possible, keep them in a Faraday case (or bag) to prevent the signal from being duplicated when not in use.

If you’re wanting to take your levels of security to the next level, then a car tracker is exactly what you need. Here at Infiniti, we have a huge range of vehicle trackers  that suit everyone, regardless of where you live, what vehicle you drive or what price point you’re looking at.

We stock a huge range of S5 and S7 trackers from all the leading manufacturers like SmarTrack, ScorpionTrack, MetaTrak and Tracker.

By buying from Infiniti Tracking you get:

 An incredible system installed at your convenience, anywhere in the UK.

 A dedicated team of experts to help you choose the right system for your requirements.

⚬ Peace of mind to know your pride and joy will be protected should the worst happen.

Whether you live in Croydon, Greater London or anywhere else in the UK, we have a solution that will help keep your car secure. Our huge range of car trackers has something for everyone and all are available to be installed anywhere in the UK. Just give our team a call from Monday to Friday (9am-6pm) on 0330 043 3993 and we’ll get you booked in. Don’t wait until you’re a victim of car crime before taking action!

It’s fair to say, no matter what aspect of life you’re looking at, the technology we use every day has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. This is especially true when it comes to car security.

Whilst the old-school security measures of steering wheel locks, gearstick brackets or wheel boots were once de-rigour for every motorist wanting to protect their vehicle, the high-tech world we live in means that they simply aren’t enough on their own anymore against a determined car thief.

The most up-to-date cars possess technology that enhances the driving experience that would seem like witchcraft just a couple of decades ago. With every ground-breaking automotive advancement we make, the cat-and-mouse nature of security means that there’s always a workaround or loophole they can exploit.

Nothing exemplifies this more than the car tracker.

HOW TRACKING SIGNALS WORK

Vehicle trackers, like every other product on the market, come with a variety of features that their manufacturer hopes will make their product stand out in an ever-more crowded marketplace. Dedicated smartphone apps, control centre support and notifications are commonplace but they also share the need for a signal/connection to make these features a reality.

Depending on which tracking system you buy, it will be able to operate using one, or more, frequencies to help triangulate its position, by working out how long the signal takes to be sent,  received and returned by different satellites in orbit above the Earth.

WHAT FREQUENCIES ARE UTILISED

Across the range of vehicle trackers we sell here at Infiniti, if you look at the specifications of many of them, you’ll see that all of them will use GPS (Global Positioning System). GPS is just one frequency on which their signal is broadcast. Think of it as the baseline.

All GPS satellites broadcast on at least two carrier frequencies. These are ‘L1’ which operates at 1575.42 MHz and ‘L2’ at 1227.6 MHz. It’s also worth noting that newer GPS satellites also broadcast on L5 at 1176 MHz. Unfortunately, these frequencies can be blocked with the right equipment.

Ideally, you want a tracker that doesn’t just rely on one signal, but instead can harness the power, and therefore reliability and accuracy, of multiple networks. Even if one if blocked, the others will still work.

These can include GLONASS, Galileo, LBS, GSM and VHF. All of which can, given the right tools, still be blocked, with the exception of the final one; VHF or Very High Frequency. The reason it can’t be blocked is simply that it’s undetectable. It’s for that reason it’s the signal chosen by military operations across the world.

WHAT DOES INSURANCE-APPROVED MEAN?

If, as part of your car insurance policy, the company has asked for the vehicle in question to have an ‘insurance approved’ tracking system installed, then it can be confusing as to what this actually means. In reality, it often means that the tracker they require installing needs to detect any tampering.

This is often standard and can easily be measured thanks to its dedicated smartphone app. This will help monitor and alert you to any attempts to tamper with the vehicle. Whilst the reality is that GPS or GSM signals can be blocked, devices like the Protect and Connect S5 from Vodafone Automotive or the S5+ and Locate systems from Tracker can alert you when there is an attempt to block those signals.

With every system sold by Infiniti Tracking you will:

 Find professional, courteous help and advice to find the right tracking for you.

 Be sure to have your device fitted wherever you are in the UK by our team of dedicated trained engineers.

Get peace of mind that you’re dealing with experts in the industry.

Whilst the sheer range of products on offer can be daunting, we are here to help you find the right system for you. We know how much you value your car and we respect that it can be daunting to find the right one, so our team are available to you from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 to help, so just ask!

If you’ve read one of our previous blogs discussing the Top 10 Cities for car crime, then you might have been surprised that Leicester was number one. You might conclude that you’re safe if you live in the south but sadly, you’re out of luck. Slough in Berkshire was number two on the list! If you thought living down the road from the Queen would keep your vehicle safe, think again.

Between May 2021 and April 2022, statistics from the Home Office showed that there were a massive 5138 car crimes reported across Berkshire, including the key county towns of Slough, Reading, Chalvey and Upton. Despite the advances in car security, it seems that the equipment you get as standard, even in brand new cars, isn’t enough to keep your car out of their thieving hands.

HOW THIEVES STEAL YOUR CAR

As technology within even the most modest family car gets more and more advanced, so do the techniques thieves use to whisk your pride and joy away from you. You don’t have to live in any of the Top 10 areas for car crime to become a victim of it.

Many of the basic techniques you can use to prevent yourself from being a victim of car crime are still just as relevant today as they ever were. Make sure your vehicle’s doors are securely locked and that the windows and sunroof, if you have one, are also firmly shut.

Even if they don’t steal the car itself, many crimes involve the theft of registration plates, so make sure you have tamper-resistant screws fitted. If your car has alloy wheels, ensure you also have locking wheel nuts installed.

BEWARE THE RELAY ATTACK

As we mentioned earlier, the advances in car security have also given rise to a speight of car theft that uses cutting-edge technology to get around even the most sophisticated systems. This is where things like keyless entry have become the go-to tactic for many thieves.

Keyless entry theft, sometimes referred to as a relay attack, relies on the key fobs that many modern cars utilise instead of a physical key that goes into an ignition.

Using their own pieces of technology, thieves will position themselves between your key and car, usually by standing just outside your front door, and hijack the legitimate signal emitted from your fob, relaying the signal to your car, so it opens up and even allows itself to be started. Once that’s done, they simply drive away without you even noticing, until it’s too late of course.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Keyless entry thefts blur the lines between high-tech and low-tech. The equipment used is advanced, but the method isn’t. Thankfully you can easily protect yourself against it by keeping your car keys away from the front door to stop them from stealing the signal or, better still, keep them in a Faraday box which keeps the signal contained.

Should the worst happen and your car is stolen, whether it’s an all-time classic car or a cutting-edge luxury motor, you’re going to need something to help recover the vehicle quickly and safely. Car trackers are the way to go.

Having a device covertly installed on your car means that there will be no hiding place for them. We have a range of devices to suit every vehicle, from cars, motorbikes, vans and motorhomes and to fit every budget.

Whilst many share the same fantastic features like 24/7 control centre availability and dedicated apps with real-time alerts and notifications, some also come with the latest vehicle protections including Remote Immobilisation, ‘No-Tag-No-Start’ technology and multi-frequency tracking to make sure you always, ALWAYS know where your vehicle is.

With Infiniti Tracking in your corner you will:

 Benefit from UK-wide fitting by our fully trained professional installation engineers.

 A huge range of Thatcham and insurance-approved trackers for all cars, motorbikes, motorhomes and vans.

⚬ Find a tracker that suits your circumstances, vehicle and budget.

Whether you live in Slough, or anywhere else in the UK, we have a car tracker within our range of products for you. Our team are available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 to help you choose and to arrange installation. We look forward to helping you on your journey from Berkshire to car security heaven!

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