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Remote control of vehicle functions using a handheld electronic device became a popular feature for vehicles. Such functions include, but are not limited to, locking, unlocking, remote start, window closures, and activation of an alarm. As consumers enjoy the remote access and become more comfortable with the remote functions, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have started looking for new features to simplify and reduce the user interface for vehicle access. These new features will provide users with an additional level of comfort without requiring them to touch or press any button on any remote devices to gain access to the vehicle. While this extra level of comfort is a desirable feature, it introduces several security threats against the vehicle's keyless-entry system. This paper describes a number of attacks against the security of keyless-entry systems of vehicles and also presents analyzes of several attacks and compares the vulnerability of the system under different attacks. At the end, some suggestions for improved design are proposed.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2005