A southern California motorcycle gang discovered a way to hack into Jeep Wranglers. Their technique involved creating electronic keys so they could basically just hop in and drive off.

This may sound like something out of Breaking Bad, but it really happened. The gang used this technique to steal 150 Jeeps before eventually getting caught.

Here’s how they did it:

  1. They rode around California, looking for newer models of Jeep Wranglers. Once they found one that looked easy to steal, they’d walk up and read its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through its windshield.
  2. They then looked up the VIN in a database — which the gang had compromised — containing replacement key codes for Jeep Wranglers.
  3. They would use one of these codes to create a physical key that could be used to unlock the jeep.
  4. Then they would ride over to the jeep when no one was around. They would exploit a design flaw that allowed them to pop open the jeep’s hood from the outside. This would trigger an alarm, but they could disable the jeep’s horn and flashing headlights from under the hood. At this point, the only sign of the alarm would be the jeep’s flashing tail lights.
  5. They would then unlock the car with their custom-programmed key.
  6. Finally, they would plug a handheld computer into the jeep’s onboard diagnostics system port. Using a second code they’d stolen from the database, they would program a second key that could be used to start the car.

Here’s a video of thieves walking up to a Jeep Wrangler, turning off its alarm, then hopping in and casually driving off — all in 90 seconds.

You can read the full article about this here.

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Thought of the day:

“The best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it’s to post the wrong answer.” — Cunningham’s Law (coined by Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki)

Image of the day:

A cafe named with developers in mind. (Image credit)

Study group of the day:

freeCodeCamp Buenos Aires

Happy coding!

– Quincy Larson, teacher at freeCodeCamp

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