In 2022, the current Toyota RAV4 and the old Lexus NX were among the most stolen cars in France. In many cases, these two SUVs have been stolen after being slightly broken, by connecting to their exaggerated beam by means of a false connected speaker. Details.
It has been published
character does not always make a monk. This is an old saying that applies perfectly to other JBL connected speakers. Although this sophisticated device is harmless, it can hide a formidable weapon used by some car thieves. These criminals use it to steal cars using a method that is not yet known, called “CAN injection” in English. It consists of connecting to the multiplexed beam of the car, called “CAN bus”, to enter it with false electronic instructions to allow the opening of the doors and especially starting. For this, it is important open the front bumper piece or break the front passenger door open the glove box. So the principle is very different from the “relay attack” (or “mouse hack”) that is more publicized, but which will now be a loss. The last method referred to signals completely released and hands-free keys to steal the car without any entry. An exercise that has done serious damage to some productions of the Stellantis group, such as the current Peugeot 3008 and 5008 or the DS 7 Crossback.
Toyota and Lexus especially affected
In the case of “CAN injection”, owners of certain Toyota or Lexus would soon be the main victims in France this time. According to Argos, a not-for-profit organization specializing in vehicle search and recovery, this may go a long way in explaining why The current Toyota RAV4 and the previous Lexus NX topped its charts of models that are often stolen in France in 2022. Other cars from these two brands will also be more vulnerable than average, such as the Corolla, C-HR or the large Lexus LC coupe. Their common thing? According to Argos technicians, they were all produced between 2016 and 2021.
I think the builder has something in place to put the join at this point. It’s really an unusual situation, and obviously they reacted, explained Benoît Leclair, boss of Argos.
This assumption was correct, as the Japanese brand’s communications department then confirmed to us that improvements had been made during this period. After experiencing a strong surge in 2022, Toyota thefts have also calmed down a bit since the start of 2023.
But beware, units built between 2016 and 2021 will probably never be repaired. Even if the Japanese company is not the type to be dragged to remind each other, these are related instead of problems that can affect the safety of passengers or other road users: the failure of airbags, seat belts, the risk of fire… Benoît Leclair also told. us that Peugeot never brought the second generation 3008 back to the workshop to make them less vulnerable to “rat hacking”, while new versions of this model are now better vaccinated. Currently, protection against crime is not one of the areas where the EU can require car manufacturers to “correct” existing vehicles, unlike safety or pollution.
Other brands that may be affected
This vulnerability of some Toyotas does not mean that other brands are immune to this “CAN Injection” technique. Inside of Perfectly finished article in English on this subject, Ken Tindell, a renowned multi-axle specialist who worked exclusively for Volvo, prepares a very diverse list, from Jeep to Cadillac through Renault and Peugeot.
Car thieves using fake JBL speakers, not keys, steal cars in minutes https://t.co/2TB6hiw5Zt pic.twitter.com/i6IeKdB6lI
— TechSpot (@TechSpot) April 8, 2023
On the Dark Net, this dark part of the Internet, fake JBL speakers would exist with models from all these manufacturers. They are charged around €5,000, an amount that does not attract professional crime networks. The small amount of damage that must be done to the car to reach the increased beam does not slow them down, especially since the sale is often made for spare parts.
RAV4 victim of its success around the world
I know what they were doing, the car is gone! My @ToyotaUK The program shows it is in motion. I just filled the tank last night. FCUK! https://t.co/SWl8PcmfZJ
— Ian Tabor (@mintynet) July 21, 2022
However, it was after one of his friends’ misadventures with a fifth-generation RAV4 that Ken Tindell investigated the scourge, specifically by tearing down one of these fake speakers to find out how it worked. The networks specialized in this Toyota SUV have even been broken in France. In addition to the “shortcomings” we mentioned above, this car is somehow a victim of its worldwide success, which has attracted up to a million buyers a year.
There is international demand for these vehicles, especially in Africa, explains Benoît Leclair.
How to protect your car?
Our article is obviously not intended to give ideas to thieves, who are probably all already familiar with this “CAN injection” technique that is currently in vogue in this environment. On the contrary, we would like to offer you effective solutions to protect you from this scourge, especially if you have models such as the Toyota RAV4 and Lexus NX, whose multi-beam beam is considered vulnerable. Unfortunately, this strategy proves more difficult to counter relay attacks. None of the interlopers we interviewed gave us a miracle solution. No more so than Ken Tindell, who instead offers software fixes out of the reach of the common man. As always, the best solution would be to park your car in a closed and safe place.
If this cannot be done, the “good old” anti-theft rod that blocks the steering wheel, and sometimes also the pedals, is worth considering. Even if it is inviolable, it will frighten the thieves who the time given for the theft must be as short as possible. Technology, however, has not said its last word. Argos and law enforcement also supervise find more and more stolen cars faster thanks to geolocation, it is now integrated as standard in almost all new cars. Just remember to authorize access to your space in the menus of your multimedia system. Failure to do so may make you feel less protected, but this information cannot be used if your valuable vehicle is stolen.