Europol: 31 arrested for stealing cars by hacking keyless tech

With the support of Europol and Eurojust, the French authorities in cooperation with their Spanish and Latvian counterparts have dismantled a car theft ring which used a fraudulent software to steal vehicles without using the physical key fob.

The criminals targeted vehicles with keyless entry and start systems, exploiting the technology to get into the car and drive away. As a result of a coordinated action carried out on 10 October in the three countries involved, 31 suspects were arrested. A total of 22 locations were searched, and over EUR 1 098 500 in criminal assets seized.

The criminals targeted keyless vehicles from two French car manufacturers. A fraudulent tool – marketed as an automotive diagnostic solution, was used to replace the original software of the vehicles, allowing the doors to be opened and the ignition to be started without the actual key fob.

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Source: Europol