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ZD Net put it perfectly: "It's cool to have a keyless BMW until you no longer have a keyless BMW."

Unfortunately, that's the exact predicament a BMW 1 Series M owner found themselves in after their $46,000 car was stolen by hackers in under 3 minutes from their own driveway.

In a post in the enthusiast forum 1Addicts, the victim posted the above video and a description of how the thieves were able to so easily steal this sophisticated and seemingly technologically sound vehicle.

"[They accessed] the BMW OBD port in the footwell by breaking the glass, reaching in and using a device to reprogram a blank key fob. The car was simply then unlocked and pushed off the drive and driven away."

Keyless vehicles are pretty simple. The owner has a unique key fob that, when recognized by the car, allows the driver to start the engine with the push of a button, instead of the turn of a physical key.

But a keyless vehicle's OBD port, or on-board diagnostics port, can be exploited by thieves. If a thief can access the OBD port by either using a RF jammer or simply breaking a window to get in the car, he can program a blank key fob to be recognized by the vehicle, allowing him to start it and drive off.

You can see how quickly this can be done in this YouTube video.

Clearly, the thieves in this video knew what they were doing, and it highlights a troubling trend in the United Kingdom. There has been a noticeable spike in keyless BMW thefts and it has some owners really worried, especially since the German automaker has acknowledged the problem, but doesn't seem to be offering any solutions, publicly stating that theft is simply something premium automakers have to deal with.

"The battle against increasingly sophisticated thieves is a constant challenge for all car makers. Desirable, premium-branded cars, like BMW and its competitors, have always been targeted," BMW told Jalopnik.

With many cars no longer requiring physical keys, the sophisticated thief can fairly easily circumvent alarm systems and drive off. Concerned keyless car owners can prevent this by looking into disabling the OBD port (a BMW owner provided an example of how to do this here). You can enable it if you need to take your car in for maintenance.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 123 Comments
      scot168
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where can I get one of those Monkeys, I want a really mean one on steroids.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have been an ASE certified master tech for over 20 years. Guess what, it's easier than they make it out to be. These fobs can be programmed VIA bluetooth and a smart phone with pirated software. no broken glass, no alarm sound. Those on board computers are bluetooth enabled so we can have wireless diagnostic connections. We also use the Bluetooth connection to program spare fobs or to replace lost ones and as a "Lock-out" road service to unlock the doors for customers that don't subscribe to satalite remote assistance.
      • 2 Years Ago
      my fans would be very upset if I respond with a 3000 character maximum format.
      1040advocate
      • 2 Years Ago
      Start puttin bombs in cars for theives....watch how fast the problem stops !
      jmsulli
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like Trayvon Martins buddies wearing their hoodies.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jmsulli
        Always someone on here making COWARDLY remarks,hiding behind a computer
      calarican
      • 2 Years Ago
      ?
      hq129x
      • 2 Years Ago
      BMW=Big Money Wasted. Gee hows that German engineering working out for you? LMAO!!
      Al
      • 2 Years Ago
      Face it; a pro car thief can snatch your ride damn near anytime and any place--in the blink of an eye!
      vsorren606
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess thieves do wear hoodies. Thats why people who wear them get profiled . Duh!!!
        sueat103
        • 2 Years Ago
        @vsorren606
        You are so right. That is why I discourage my teenage sons from wearing them. I don't care what color you are---they are hoody. (punn intended)
        Donald
        • 2 Years Ago
        @vsorren606
        Thieves also wear shoes....your logic is so rightwing.
          Fallenrock
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donald
          not really...people who wear shoes don't look suspicious.
      beachluuvr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why doesn't the alarm go off when they break the glass??
      Robert Roldan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are these guys wearing a "hoodie" ?
      mcwhomper
      • 2 Years Ago
      the question here is wether bmw is in on the profit from the thefts. bmw is that a german car i wouldn't put it past them to ruion our economy by flooding insurance agencies with car thefts running up insurance prices which is now mandatory in our country putting most americans on public transportation.if i sound paranoid its because i see how politicians have turned into money grbbing thieves and have no interest in what will save us from the fate of most russians a life of poverty while some just get wealthier. the only way we can ever expect to become the powerful nation we once were is to stop letting countries send us thier poor and sick and take care of our own and to stop letting countries send us merchandise that has flaws that cost americans dearly
        HollywoodF1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mcwhomper
        This country became the powerful country it once was by letting other countries send us their poor and sick. Bring your family on a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty for more information.
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