10 August 2006

Who wants to steal a car?

Here's a fun and disconcerting tale of how easy it is to circumvent transponder antitheft systems in cars. Actually, there are several ways to do so, but I really like the way the author, Brad Stone, "steals" his own Honda Civic, affectionately named "Honky".

I walked outside and approached Honky. The door lock would have been easy – a thief would have used a jiggle key, and a stranded motorist would have had a locksmith cut a fresh one. I just wrapped the grip of my key in tinfoil to jam the transponder. The key still fit, but it no longer started the car.

Then I grabbed the emergency brake handle between the front seats and performed the specific series of pumps, interspersed with rotations of the ignition between the On and Start positions. After my second attempt, Honky’s hybrid engine awoke with its customary whisper.


Angela said...

That's really handy!

So, what do you drive? Where do you park? And what time do you leave your vehicle alone? Har har.

R.A. Porter said...

Here's my car. It's not a Honda. :)