It is not very often that I receive a chain e-mail that is as easy to disprove as this one, and because it is Sunday afternoon, I’m feeling lazy, and I want to go home and have a braai and a few glasses of amarula I’m going to be very lazy and just give you the basics here (but you understand, right?).
The chain e-mail:
Kyk hier nuwe manier hoe om ons motors te steel!
(Translated by SD as “Check out this new method of stealing our cars).
I locked my car. As I walked away I heard my car door unlock. I went back and locked my car again three times .. Each time, as soon as I started to walk away, I would hear it unlock again!! Naturally alarmed, I looked around and there were two guys sitting in a car in the fire lane next to the store. They were obviously watching me intently, and there was no doubt they were somehow involved in this very weird situation. I quickly chucked the errand I was on, jumped in my car and sped away.. I went straight t o the police station, told them what had happened, and found out I was part of a new, and very successful, scheme being used to gain entry into cars. Two weeks later, my friend’s son had a similar happening….
While traveling, my friend’s son stopped at a roadside rest to use the bathroom. When he came out to his car less than 4-5 minutes later, someone had gotten into his car and stolen his cell phone, laptop computer, GPS navigator, briefcase…..you name it. He called the police and since there were no signs of his car being broken into, the police told him he had been a victim of the latest robbery tactic — there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device..
They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim. They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant, or bathroom and that they now have a few minutes to steal and run. The police officer said to manually lock your car door-by hitting the lock button inside the car — that way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for their next victim, it will not be you.
When you hit the lock button on your car upon exiting, it does not send the security code, but if you walk away and use the door lock on your key chain, it sends the code through the airwaves where it can be instantly stolen.
This is very real.
Be wisely aware of what you just read and please pass this note on. Look how many times we all lock our doors with our remote just to be sure we remembered to lock them — and bingo, someone has our code….and whatever was in our car.
Snopes Approved –.Please share with everyone you know
Ok, so apart from telling you that the attempt to spread fear is a blatant red-flag, as well as the completely unprovable testimonials which are about as reliable as an ice tent in the kalahari dessert, I’m simply going to have a look at the facts here. If this method were being used in the 1970’s when automatic entry devices were (literally) made up of a couple of transistors and a radio transmitter, this “new method might work”. That’s because back in the days of polyester bell bottoms remote entry systems were crude and unsophisticated and analogue. Some nasty bad guy might have been able to detect the frequency of your car’s remote and unlock it when you were gone by transmitting the correct frequency back at your car’s receiver.
Luckily for us, modern technology has made things a little bit more difficult. I found this fantastic, simple explanation on “How Stuff Works“:
With the remote keyless-entry systems that you find on cars today, security is a big issue. If people could easily open other people’s cars in a crowded parking lot at the mall, it would be a real problem. And with the proliferation of radio scanners, you also need to prevent people from “capturing” the code that your transmitter sends. Once they have your code, they can simply re-transmit it to open your car.
Inside the car controller
So, what do you do if your three-year-old child DOES desynchronize your transmitter by pushing the button on it 300 times, so that the receiver no longer recognizes it? Most cars give you a way toresynchronize. Here is a typical procedure:
Given a 40-bit code, four transmitters and up to 256 levels of look-ahead in the pseudo-random number generator to avoid desynchronization, there is a one-in-a-billion chance of your transmitter opening another car’s doors. When you take into account the fact that all car manufacturers use different systems and that the newest systems use many more bits, you can see that it is nearly impossible for any given key fob to open any other car door.
Please read the final paragraph again (I couldn’t have said it better myself). And now delete the silly chain e-mail. Whenever you get an e-mail like this, please take a few minutes to verufy the facts before you send it on to your friends. Don’t take the e-mail’s author’s word for it when they append “Snopes Approved” to the end of the story. The chances are that they are trying to stop you from doing any investigating because they know that is a load of bolloks!