03 December 2009
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Waking up to an empty parking space or vandalized car is every enthusiast’s worst nightmare. You’ve either personally had it happen or know someone it’s happened to.
Anyway you slice it, having your ride and the hard-earned audio and performance parts jacked totally sucks. Plus, if you’ve invested time and money on customizing your ride (which most of us have), the least you can do is drop a few dimes on making sure it stays safe from joy riders and thieves.
The security specialists at Automobility recently developed an innovative and effective solution to curb the recent surge in stolen cars with remote starters. The new EncryptR technology means the difference between being an easy or hard target for car thieves. We explored this topic with the help of the expert engineers at Automobility.
Investing in a remote starter is a very popular and convenient upgrade these days, from custom cars to daily drivers. However many consumers are unaware of the dangers that come with installing most remote start systems, as they’ve quickly become easy and ideal targets for theft. Criminals are utilizing the weakness of remote starters to boost cars.
Although purchased for convenience, aftermarket remote starters play a much larger role than many think when it comes to encouraging car theft. Remote starters are the downfall of vehicle security systems. Vehicles equipped with a remote starter are easy for thieves to spot. The antenna is visible to the naked eye, and a copy of the key or the smart chip is usually hidden underneath the steering column or the instrument panel. A thief can easily check these spots, find the key and make off with the vehicle. Reputable studies have found that more than 40% of vehicles stolen were equipped with a remote starter. Thieves are also able to easily get around sophisticated and approved anti-theft systems this way.
OEM IMMOBILIZER PROBLEM
Remote start systems have come a long way over the years, however theft of vehicles equipped with them has been on the rise largely due to the “key in the box” required to bypass the OEM immobilizer found in virtually all cars. You see, it’s an unknown yet proven fact that in order to install remote starters in today’s vehicles you must bypass your OEM immobilizer.
There are only two ways to successfully bypass the OEM immobilizer. The first is to use a vehicle-specific data bypass module which emulates the OEM key to bypass vehicle security. The data bypass works in conjunction with your remote starter. In this type of installation, the remote starter communicates with the bypass module by sending a ground signal or the same command over a wire. This tells the bypass to activate and do its job, which is to ‘bypass’ the OEM / Factory immobilizer in order to allow the vehicle to be started remotely.
Although this process has been in use for years, thieves are particularly exploiting the way this system works by targeting and breaking into susceptible vehicles equipped with remote starters. By simply supplying the ground or reproducing the same communication between the remote starter and the bypass module, thieves are easily enabling remote starters to aid in stealing a vehicle in just seconds.
THE EncryptR SOLUTION
EncryptR employs proprietary encryption software that sends unique codes from the remote starter to the bypass module, that cannot be replicated or reversed with hi-tech equipment. With patented EncryptR Technology, the command between the remote starter and the bypass unit to activate the bypass is now encrypted
in a secure way which cannot be duplicated.
The EncyptR communication exchanged between the remote starter and the bypass module is best described as a ‘secret handshake’ that is never the same and changes every time it’s used. Since the command / communication is never exchanged in the same way twice, it’s impossible for even expert thieves to duplicate and ensures the best security possible for your remote starter system.
KEY IN THE BOX PROBLEM
The other way to bypass an OEM vehicle immobilizer and install a remote start system necessitates the use of the theft-prone ‘key in the box’ we referred to earlier. According to the
many expert installers we spoke to, this must be done in many newer vehicles in order for a remote starter system to work.
In this type of remote starter system, either the OEM vehicle key or the ‘chip’ from the original key must be installed within the vehicle inside the bypass module system (usually located under the driver’s side dashboard area) and works in conjunction with the remote starter.
The remote starter unit communicates with the original OEM vehicle key or the RFID (radio frequency identification) chip from the OEM key inside the bypass module which in turn allows the vehicle to be started remotely. For those who may not know, an RFID immobilizer is a chip embedded in the top part of an ignition key. If your vehicle is equipped with this type of key, it must be bypassed by placing the chip (or key) within the module inside the car, making it an easy target for any car thief.
Thieves are exploiting this weakness in cars equipped with remote starters by locating the OEM key or RFID chip from the original key which is installed in the vehicle (within the bypass module box) and then using it to start and steal the car.
By simply breaking or cracking open the plastic ‘box’ the thief gains access to a key inside that is able to start the vehicle. In the case of an RFID chip, it’s even easier as they only need to place the box containing the chip near enough to the ignition to send its signal… then tada, the car starts and is effortlessly driven away. Although this security concern may seem surprising to many consumers, it’s been a steadily growing problem according to insurance and security experts for some time now.
THE EncryptR SOLUTION
With the latest EncryptR Technology, the command between the remote starter and the OEM key is safely encrypted. Plus, for additional security the OEM key is encased and shielded in a sealed steel box so that thieves cannot access the key inside nor use the signal from the RFID chip in order to start and steal the vehicle.
The EncryptR shielded and sealed steel box is designed to be nearly impenetrable and requires far too much time and effort for any criminal, making it an excellent deterrent and ensuring the safety of your vehicle.
EncryptR also features an additional layer of theft prevention with branded visual deterrent stickers for your driver’s side window and under steering column. A holographic sticker is easy to apply to the driver side window and if brake-in occurs, a second larger EncryptR sticker is applied on driver kick panel to deter thieves.
EncryptR technology uses two exclusive
1) Polar Start Remote Starters
• Manufactured by Directed Electronics, the industry leader in aftermarket remote Start and security products
• Brand exclusively available through Automobility Distribution Inc, Canada’s largest auto accessory distributor
• Available in Quebec and Canada’s most popular and respected franchises
2) iDatalink Multi Series ADS-ALCA
• Bypasses over 2000 vehicles without OEM
key while maintaining OEM immobilizer
• The industry’s most reliable and secure solution (same platform for past 3 years)
• Sold throughout North America including through Automobility’s distribution network
• Award winning web-programmable technology (2007 CES Innovation Award)