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Cheap gadget aids car thieves

September 28, 2012
Posted in Car news — Written by Nationla Numbers

A cheap hacking tool will lead to increased car thefts, UK police are warned.

The Chinese device allows would-be hackers to bypass and disable a car’s security settings in the space of three minutes.

Australia and Europe have already seen a spike in vehicle theft this year due to the cheap gadget, which costs only $30 and is very easy to use.

BMWs are amongst the most targeted, but the German motoring giant assures drivers that newer models are not affected and that old models can be upgraded.

“Certain criminal threats simply do not exist when cars are designed and developed. This does not mean the car companies have done anything wrong, neither are they legally obliged to take any action,” a BMW spokesperson said.

“However, as a responsible manufacturer we are looking at ways of mitigating against this new kind of attack.”

Hacking is done by manipulating On-board Diagnostics (OBD) into accepting a ‘blank key’, which is done by intercepting the transmission signal between the car and the key fob.

“Crooks only need to monitor a person using the key or interrogate the key fob to get enough information to decipher the key,” explained London’s City University professor David Stupples.

Students told to revise insurance options

September 4, 2012
Posted in Car news — Written by Nationla Numbers

Students are advised to swot-up on their insurance options when moving into University halls.

Cash-strapped students often skip on insurance due to the high price of tuition fees, a move that may prove more costly.

“Whilst it is tempting for students to get carried away with partying and meeting new people, they can be a prime target for theft and burglary,” says Peter Harrison of

Car and contents cover is recommended for all students due to the likelihood of laptops, mobile phones and MP3 players being lost, stolen or damaged.

First-years moving into new cities can be seen as an easy target for thieves as they do not know the area.

Some companies offer individual cover specifically for students but students should also look into being added to their parents’ policy.

Taking a car with you can be the most costly part of going to University as location heavily influences premiums. The cost of running a vehicle can also mount up for students on a budget.

“Those who do decide to take their cars with them should notify their insurer so they can amend their policy details to reflect their change in living situation,” said Peter Harrison. “It is crucial students getting behind the wheel shop around for the best car insurance deals to guarantee their money stretches as far as possible.”

Tuition fees can now be in excess of lb23,000, putting a lot of strain on students financially.