January 31, 2005

Computer Nerds Crack Electronic Key

Computer Nerds Crack Electronic Key

The PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System) keys* that almost all new cars have now a days (that really thick key) have been cracked by some computer nerds at Johns Hopkins University.
JHU is really trying to push that since they cracked it, theves can not be that far behind in cracking it also.

The research team at Johns Hopkins University
said it discovered that the "immobilizer" security
system developed by Texas Instruments could be
cracked using a "relatively inexpensive electronic
device" that acquires information hidden in the
microchips that make the system work.

But Texas Instruments, the developers of the PATS technology says otherwise:

Tony Sabetti, a business manager with Texas
said the hardware used to crack the codes is
expensive and not practical for common thieves.

"I think the way in which it's presented as being inexpensive
to do and quick and all the rest of that is an exaggeration,"
Sabetti said. "And because of that, we believe the technology
still is extremely secure for the applications that it's used in."

So far all of those with a PATS key be prepared for your insurance to go up with insurance companies using the excuse that the PATS key can now be over rode and your car could be stolen.

*The PATS key has a electronic signal in it, when put into the ignition it sends a signal to another part in the ignition that recognizes the signal from the key and allows the car to start, without the correct signal from the key the car will not start. Don't lose your key though, the dealership is the only people that can program a key for you and most charge $15 for it.

Posted by Quality Weenie at January 31, 2005 01:08 PM