Security camera vision from the UK has been published online show a pair of thieves stealing a Tesla Model S from a driveway in less than 30 seconds.
The Tesla Model S, like so many other cars on the market, uses a keyless entry and start system which operates by detecting the presence of a keyfob and granting the operator access to the vehicle. In recent years, car thieves have been able to exploit the vulnerabilities of such systems in what are known as relay attacks.
All thieves need to do is take a relay box and its associated wires to the front of a house. If the vehicle keyfob is nearby, the relay box copies the signal from the keyfob and sends it to a second thief next to the car. Within seconds, thieves can unlock the doors and drive off.
That’s exactly what happened in this instance. The white Tesla Model S was sitting in the property’s driveway when a man with a relay box and wires approaches the front door. Almost instantly, he is able to unlock the car before an accomplice steps inside, turns the sedan on, and swiftly reverses out of the driveway. Seconds later, those inside the house can be heard talking after discovering their Tesla was gone.
A recent study conducted by the German General Automobile Club found that 230 out of the 237 keyless cars it tested could be tricked into thinking the key is closer to the vehicle than it actually is. On average, it takes thieves using relay boxes just 18 seconds to steal a car.