Ford security technology blocks illegal hacking of key fobs

Car stuff

Ford  is introducing new security technology to its Fiesta and Focus models which prevents illegal hacking of the keyless entry fobs when not in use

Keyless entry fobs of all makes of cars have been targeted by thieves with “relay box” equipment, used to extend the signal from fobs in homes to unlock and start vehicles parked outside.

Now, a new motion sensor inside the Ford fob detects when it has been stationary for longer than 40 seconds and triggers a sleep mode, which will not respond to attempts to hack its signal via a “relay box” or through the misuse of other specialist equipment.

Moving the keyless fob by picking it up inside the home and taking it to the car will restore full functionality by the time Fiesta and Focus drivers approach their cars. Ford fobs are designed to operate only within a two-metre radius of the cars they are bonded to.

Britain’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta, plus the Fiesta Van version, are already being delivered with the new fobs as standard at no extra cost, followed by Ford Focus production from next month.

Simon Hurr, Ford security specialist, said:

“The online availability of devices which have no place in public hands has long been a problem for Ford, our industry and crime fighters. We are pleased to respond with a simple but effective solution – swiftly implemented to help protect owners of our top-selling cars.” 

Unfortunately those users who want their key fobs updated with the new technology will have to pay for the privilege. The latest Ford Fiesta and Focus models can have security upgraded with replacement fobs for £65 and £72 respectively, plus 0.9 hours labour to programme and test.

Ford’s security tips

  • Check for visual cues to confirm the car is double locked (after a double click of the lock button on your remote) as you walk away. The indicators flash as the alarm is set and in some cases wing mirrors fold in as permanent confirmation that the car is secure
  • Do not store keyless entry fobs just inside your front door within close range of a car parked outside. Fobs without new sleep mode should be stored further away, in a suitable metal box or shielded pouch available as part of TVL range – and TASSA (Tracking & Aftermarket Security System Association) approved
  • A Ford dealer checks every time a car is serviced for any security software upgrades or other recommended modifications. It is important to visit a dealer, especially with an older car, to receive outstanding updates
Chris Price
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