David Beckham’s $60,000 BMW stolen using a laptop.

by Paz

High-tech car thief.

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.

9 reviews or comments

Al Says: May 4, 2006 at 3:10 pm

I wonder if this rebate idea came after the Rooney incident, or am I just being an optimistic cynic.

Paz Says: May 5, 2006 at 8:34 am

LOL… I have a Toshiba laptop, but it’s one of the Satellite models for which the rebate doesn’t apply.

In any case, you’re right, I think Toshiba’s money is pretty safe after Rooney’s injury.

If England don’t win I’m hoping Germany will exploit the home advantage and rise to the occasion!

m kendall Says: May 26, 2009 at 2:56 am

my bmw has been stolen and i have all the keys. There is no evidence of forced entry to the car . The insurers told me that it is impossible to start the car without the keys . Can anyone else affected please e mail me.

albert Says: June 18, 2009 at 5:53 am

I’ve seen how these hunters/stalkers operate. demonic is the only adjective that is appropriate. Old fashioned conventional systems are the best. technology sometimes is more trouble than its worth. They also track bar codes on products.

j.vargas Says: December 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm

mi 2004 mini cooper s was stolen and no proof of tampering with the door locks and some damage to the ignition there was a u.s.b cable found in the car and i know that its not mine .my insuranceis noe investigating me this is very incredible but true.deos anybody know about other case like this.contact me please

j.vargas Says: December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

MR.KENDALL i feel you’re pain my in are a pain in the ass,they are waisting time on me insted of going and doing the leg work needed to finish my claim .dont let them get u down.

Caroline donaldson Says: December 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I had keyless car stole in july 09 my ins co say not possible to start a prestige car with high security level they wont settle my claim wot do u do in this case

jagdish Pankhania Says: September 30, 2010 at 7:03 am

i bought from showroom new BMW 530se gt diesel got stolen its not recovered yet police told me they hv found the person they said the car is South Africa??????/

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