David Beckham’s $60,000 BMW stolen using a laptop.
As many of you already know, the World Cup’s rapidly approaching and is very much on our thoughts. It’s interesting how football and gadgets have converged today with the simultaneous announcements that David Beckham has had two BMW X5 SUVs stolen using laptop computers, and that Toshiba are offering rebates to UK customers who have bought one of their laptops should England win the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
“Poor” David Beckham’s has had two BMWs stolen in six months by thieves who used a laptop to crack the car’s high-tech security system.
The cars have a keyless-entry system that connects to its in-built computer and instructs it to open the doors when the appropriate security key is entered.
Using a laptop and, apparently, some insider knowledge, thieves have managed to decrypt the keys enabling them to open the doors, start the engine and even disable the built-in tracking devices that would otherwise allow police to follow it.
It sounds like the laptop car thieves are using a “brute force” approach to crack the security codes, whereby they try sending every possible combination of security keys until one of them manages to open the car’s doors.
The thieves seem able to crack the keys within a timescale of about an hour or less. That’s a relatively short time for a pure, brute force attack, given the level of encryption that’s likely in place. Some believe that the high-tech car thieves are able to crack the secret codes so quickly because they have access to insider information, giving them the ability to make a reasonable, a-priori guess at the access codes. This would allow them to substantially reduce the time it would normally take to crack a secret key using a blind, brute-force approach.
How ironic then that Toshiba are promising a rebate to their laptop customers, should England win the World Cup in Germany this summer.
David Beckham, who will no doubt be participating in the tournament, must be secretly hoping that England crash out of the competition early!
Found via Engadget.