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Does anyone know if the Cadillac Key Fobs have any kind of protection against the relay theft method?

Relay theft is where a device is brought close to the key fob, and another paired device is brought close to the car, and it spoofs the car into thinking you are standing next to it with the key fob. It is being used to open cars when people store their key fobs close to their doors/windows of their house, within RF range of the outdoors.

One feature I see being discussed is a Sleep Mode, where if your key fob is at rest for a given amount of time, it stops transmitting. Like sitting on a desk at home or hanging on a key chain.

The more brute force methods appear to be keeping your key fobs in conductive bags or metal boxes to shield the signals.

Any knowledgeable owners out their on this topic? What is Cadillac's answer?

Thanks!
 

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I usually leave my keys in a little dish by the garage door. Perhaps you can buy a lead jar?

But seriously, I don't think the standby proximity range is that far. When you actually depress the buttons, the range is a lot further to allow remote start from quite a distance, but I don't think that the default standby range is more than like 10 foot or so.

That said, I've never heard of this, so I'm glad you brought it up.
 

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I usually leave my keys in a little dish by the garage door. Perhaps you can buy a lead jar?

But seriously, I don't think the standby proximity range is that far. When you actually depress the buttons, the range is a lot further to allow remote start from quite a distance, but I don't think that the default standby range is more than like 10 foot or so.

That said, I've never heard of this, so I'm glad you brought it up.
Its actually pretty common. They use a repeater, similar to a Wi-Fi repeater. One person stands by the home, it picks up the signal and repeats it to the receiver (person) by the car. The receiver then broadcasts the signal. It acts as if you are standing by the car with your key. Any car that has push to start and keyless entry can be taken that easy. No popped locks, no hot wire, no popped ignition, just drive away. Mercedes keys have a button sequence to turn of the RF signal, but then defeats the purpose of the easy use of the key. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. Simple solutions are available. Many to choose from....


 

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Does anyone know if the Cadillac Key Fobs have any kind of protection against the relay theft method?

Relay theft is where a device is brought close to the key fob, and another paired device is brought close to the car, and it spoofs the car into thinking you are standing next to it with the key fob. It is being used to open cars when people store their key fobs close to their doors/windows of their house, within RF range of the outdoors.

One feature I see being discussed is a Sleep Mode, where if your key fob is at rest for a given amount of time, it stops transmitting. Like sitting on a desk at home or hanging on a key chain.

The more brute force methods appear to be keeping your key fobs in conductive bags or metal boxes to shield the signals.

Any knowledgeable owners out their on this topic? What is Cadillac's answer?

Thanks!
Only a thief would want to know!
 

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I was looking at this the other day before I saw your thread. I could be wrong, but I don't think there would be many instances of this type of theft. There was a member who said she had her Cadillac with RKE stolen from her garage. Posters couldn't understand how until queried and she further added that she had left the RKE transmitter (fob) in her car.

To me, the solution is simple, don't keep you transmitter where someone can stand outside the house and receive it, ie. not by the outside door (home or garage).

 

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Well, I guess the question becomes, in standby mode, which is essentially the FOB sitting on your kitchen counter, how far away can the signal be picked up? Naturally that range has got to be much lower than when you are actively pressing the buttons.

I'm of the opinion that it cannot be more than 10 to 20 ft just based on the fact that I have left my FOB in my jacket pocket - on the other side of the interior garage door, and the car would not let the door handle unlock work, so the FOB was out of range. If the car cannot pick up the signal less than 10 ft away through a door, I just don't see how this is a threat? Especially being on 2 acres and the street being 150 ft away from the garage?

Now certainly if someone had a folding chair parked on my driveway, having cocktails with their burglar friends, they might be able to pick up depressed button signals, but that's pretty remote.

I'm just not getting the risk here? Perhaps in the inner city in a public parking garage maybe? I dunno, but isn't this what insurance is for?
 

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Well, I guess the question becomes, in standby mode, which is essentially the FOB sitting on your kitchen counter, how far away can the signal be picked up? Naturally that range has got to be much lower than when you are actively pressing the buttons.

I'm of the opinion that it cannot be more than 10 to 20 ft just based on the fact that I have left my FOB in my jacket pocket - on the other side of the interior garage door, and the car would not let the door handle unlock work, so the FOB was out of range. If the car cannot pick up the signal less than 10 ft away through a door, I just don't see how this is a threat? Especially being on 2 acres and the street being 150 ft away from the garage?

Now certainly if someone had a folding chair parked on my driveway, having cocktails with their burglar friends, they might be able to pick up depressed button signals, but that's pretty remote.

I'm just not getting the risk here? Perhaps in the inner city in a public parking garage maybe? I dunno, but isn't this what insurance is for?
The transmitter has to be within 3ft for the door handle unlock/lock button to work. I'm of the same view as you in that although there is a remote (no pun intended) chance of this type of theft to occur, it is highly unlikely to happen.
 

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As I recall an earlier discussion in one of the Forums I frequent, there are two layers of protection. Even if the relay method was used to gain access, the handshaking between fob and the start system would prevent vehicle theft. As I recall, the fob must be inside the vehicle and there is a two way exchange between the BCM and fob before start is allowed. The relay would not mimic that handshake.
 

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Just as a point of clarification, on that 3ft, I know for fact ours goes further, but to your point, not much further. You have to pretty much be within a few feet of the car, so wouldn't it be easier for these guys to just pull a gun and demand the remote, if they are that determined to jack the car? I mean, they would have to be within arms reach for Pete's sake.

I'm not saying that there isn't the technology out there to do just about anything, but then you are talking about the true professionals who focus on specific vehicles - Not those that depreciate 5% a month. The local hoodlum kids that account for 95+% of the vehicle thefts prey on those leaving cars cars unsecured and running unattended, or they are jacked, etc. Theft by opportunity.

Frankly, I wonder how much of this is a scare marketing tactic by these RF Key Pouch vendors? I'm not worried in the least.
 

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I'm of the opinion that it cannot be more than 10 to 20 ft just based on the fact that I have left my FOB in my jacket pocket - on the other side of the interior garage door, and the car would not let the door handle unlock work, so the FOB was out of range. If the car cannot pick up the signal less than 10 ft away through a door, I just don't see how this is a threat? Especially being on 2 acres and the street being 150 ft away from the garage?
It might be possible if the hacker's antenna and receiver are far more sensitive than what the vehicle has. I'm basing that on my experience with wireless technologies and ham radio, where a great antenna and highly sensitive receiver can make do with a signal too weak for a traditional setup. Wi-Fi cantennas are one example: Cantenna - Wikipedia
 

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Just as a point of clarification, on that 3ft, I know for fact ours goes further, but to your point, not much further. You have to pretty much be within a few feet of the car, so wouldn't it be easier for these guys to just pull a gun and demand the remote, if they are that determined to jack the car? I mean, they would have to be within arms reach for Pete's sake.

I'm not saying that there isn't the technology out there to do just about anything, but then you are talking about the true professionals who focus on specific vehicles - Not those that depreciate 5% a month. The local hoodlum kids that account for 95+% of the vehicle thefts prey on those leaving cars cars unsecured and running unattended, or they are jacked, etc. Theft by opportunity.

Frankly, I wonder how much of this is a scare marketing tactic by these RF Key Pouch vendors? I'm not worried in the least.
Could be further, I haven't tested it, but the manual says 3 ft. Even if it's 4 or 5 ft, a hijack is easier, unless the owner sees you coming and is packing some iron of his own.
 

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It might be possible if the hacker's antenna and receiver are far more sensitive than what the vehicle has. I'm basing that on my experience with wireless technologies and ham radio, where a great antenna and highly sensitive receiver can make do with a signal too weak for a traditional setup. Wi-Fi cantennas are one example: Cantenna - Wikipedia
They might be able to boost the signal, but still I don't think this is going to be used in the $60-70K price rage. Maybe in a $200,000 range.
 

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Entry to a vehicle is not as easy as depicted in the video for the relay theft.

Passive keyless entry allows entry to a locked vehicle without pressing any buttons on the keyless entry transmitter. The passive entry system use low frequency antennas in several different areas on the vehicle to determine the location of the transmitter. When passively opening a locked door or the rear compartment, you must have a programmed transmitter with you in your pocket, purse, or briefcase within a one meter range.

When an exterior door handle button is pressed or the rear compartment touch pad is pressed, the low frequency antenna sends out a challenge to the keyless entry transmitter. Because of the low frequency, communication range is limited. The antenna will emit the challenge in a one meter range. The transmitter must be within this range to receive the challenge. The transmitter receives this challenge and emits it's response as an RF message, which is received by the remote control door lock receiver. If the response is correct, entry into the vehicle will be allowed.

There are a limited number of transmitters that can be paired to the vehicle BCM. The relay device as described does not mimic the handshake before opening the vehicle.
 
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