Most of us take the wireless remote controls of our cars and garage doors for granted. It’s not so much for security but rather for convenience of being able to open the door while still a couple of feet/meters away. However it turns out that might not be such a good idea, no thanks to security researcher Samy Kamkar.
Kamkar has recently unveiled a device that costs about $30 to make and has the ability to unlock and open car doors or garage doors that rely on keyless entry. The device dubbed Rolljam made its debut at Defcon 2015. How it works is basically it attempts to sniff out a code used by your remotes.
What happens is when you press your remote, nothing happens, but when you press it again, it works and you probably won’t think too much about it. However by then Rolljam would have stolen the necessary information by blocking the initial signal and recording the code. The second time you press and your car unlocks, it’s really Rolljam using the first code to unlock the car, and it is the second code that is being stolen/recorded.
This means that the hacker can basically use that code at their own convenience and open your car/garage door and steal its contents. That being said thankfully car companies are well aware of this flaw and have since switched systems where codes expire more quickly, although if you are using some older equipment, that flaw could still be present.