How Apple’s AirTags are being used to steal cars

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AirTags is a compact device that can be tracked nearly anywhere in the world, without a costly GPS or data subscription? Incredible. Unfortunately, it seems like the kind of people on the hunt for other people’s keys feel the same way.

Ontario identified five separate incidents where thieves have surreptitiously slipped an AirTag on to a “high-end vehicle” with the intent to steal it. The thieves’ technique is to leave the tracker somewhere on a target vehicle, then follow its location in Apple’s Find My app to discover where it’s parked.

Working

  • Thieves typically use tools like screwdrivers to enter the vehicles through the driver or passenger door, while ensuring not to set off alarms.
  • Once inside, an electronic device, typically used by mechanics to reprogram the factory setting, is connected to the onboard diagnostics port below the dashboard and programs the vehicle to accept a key the thieves have brought with them.
  • Once the new key is programmed, the vehicle will start and the thieves drive it away.

At the time of the launch of AirTag, Apple did mention what to do if you a user finds an unknown AirTag. In case a user detects an unknown AirTag, they can tap it with their iPhone or NFC-capable device and instructions will guide them to disable the unknown AirTag. However, unless the AirTag is kept in plain sight, it’s really difficult to know if an unknown device is in the vicinity or not.

 

 

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