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2020 Kia E-Niro 4
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A worrying segment on the Watchdog segment on tonight's "One Show" regarding the vulnerability of keyless cars. It would seem that Kia's are particularly susceptible to these relay attacks. Is there a software fix for this to make the key operate as just a remote unlock by keypress only.

It seems to me that keyless is a solution looking for a problem that didn't exist. I don't find it difficult to press a button on the fob to unlock. I have to press a button on the handle, so what's the point if it creates a security risk !
 

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A worrying segment on the Watchdog segment on tonight's "One Show" regarding the vulnerability of keyless cars. It would seem that Kia's are particularly susceptible to these relay attacks. Is there a software fix for this to make the key operate as just a remote unlock by keypress only.

It seems to me that keyless is a solution looking for a problem that didn't exist. I don't find it difficult to press a button on the fob to unlock. I have to press a button on the handle, so what's the point if it creates a security risk !
Having watched the segment on the One Show, I think the obvious thing is to do is keep the key fobs in a 'faraday cage' pouch/box and/or add some sort of secondary protection to the vehicle (modern day versions of the 'Krooklock', disklock etc).

Not that you should have to with a modern vehicle, but I suppose we are where we are.

I wonder if ultimately Kia can find a way to deactivate the keyless software on the vehicle, and owners can go back to pressing the button on the fob.

As you rightly point out, 'Keyless' is a 'solution' to the really insignificant, minor matter of pressing a button on a key fob!
 

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Kia Sportage GT Line S 2019 (69 plate)
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This isn’t new. It’s been around for a few years now and people have been told to secure keys in faraday pouches and to keep keys away from doors/windows etc.
I keep my keys in a pouch but you do have to keep checking it as it can’wear off’ after a few months. When it does, you’ll find you can unlock car with key in pouch so you do have to check it to make sure it’s doing the job. You can also buy metal key cases as well which do the job but tend to be more expensive.

some car companies have made their keys disabled if the key is not moved for a few mins. This to me seems the safest way as then you don’t need a pouch as the key stops Giving off a signal. I believe other manufacturers have enabled switches on the key so you can switch off the key when you don’t need it on.

unfortunately for us, kia haven’t redesigned their keys. I had a cee’d for 3 years and the issue was around then. When I traded in for a Sportage I assumed the issue may have been sorted as the keyless relay theft had been in news a number of times by then but wasn’t the case as they key is always active so for us at the moment only option is to pop in a pouch.
Remember if you have a spare key to also put that in a pouch or tin to ensure the signal isn’t transmitted.
 

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I remember when the warnings were about people hiding in car parks with intercept devices. Criminals find ways to beat any security given enough motivation. If I owned an M3 I'd take extra precautions but for my ceed I'll make do with not keeping the keys by the front door. That said, I do think there should be a way to deactivate the keyless, either through motion/software/switch.

I believe the stats show 2-in-1 break ins are still by far the most popular way to steal a car. Relay thefts are still reasonably niche and if you want a positive spin, they do stop those quite aggressive bad guys from entering your property.
 

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I remember when the warnings were about people hiding in car parks with intercept devices. Criminals find ways to beat any security given enough motivation. If I owned an M3 I'd take extra precautions but for my ceed I'll make do with not keeping the keys by the front door. That said, I do think there should be a way to deactivate the keyless, either through motion/software/switch.

I believe the stats show 2-in-1 break ins are still by far the most popular way to steal a car. Relay thefts are still reasonably niche and if you want a positive spin, they do stop those quite aggressive bad guys from entering your property.
Yes agree there that whenever a security device is made, someone will always find ways of getting around it. However, for me the cost of a pouch is far less than having to replace the whole car if someone does steal it but end of the day is up to the individual.
around our area where I live the police have been posting messages in local Facebook pages asking people to secure there keyless cars by putting keys in faraday pouches etc as a number of cars have been stolen recently. My understanding are the cars were all BMWs (I think they ordered and criminals find certain cars then to steal instead of it being random) so I think it’s less likely our kias would be stolen by this method but there’s nothing to say they won’t. Especially as it becomes easier and the equipment becomes cheaper to buy to enable the thieves to do this. By time you realise the car has gone it’s probably in France or it’s had plates changed etc.
 

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Following the BBC piece on the One Show, I PM'd Kia Customer Services about the matter.

I enquired with Kia Customer Services via PM if my 2021 Sportage GT Line S could have its 'Keyless' deactivated by Kia dealerships, and revert to 'pressing the button' but was told it wasn't possible.

They did copy me into a Kia issued statement as follows:

Kia is deeply concerned about the risk to our customers’ property posed by determined criminals utilising the latest technology to break into vehicles and we are aware that this is an issue across the industry.

Safeguarding the security and safety of our vehicles is crucial to us and we shall continue to develop and update new effective countermeasures against hacking and relay attacks such as ultra-wideband technology, in addition to security features that are already available in some models (motion-sensor fobs and unique-user identification).

One action which Kia UK has also taken is offering of Faraday pouches for keyless entry equipped vehicle keys. These are available for customers of new or approved used vehicles, equally they can be bought as standalone items via Kia Dealers.
I have enquired which Kia models do actually have these 'motion sensor fobs and 'unique-user identification'. Or at least if my vehicle has such measures being a 2021 model. I await their response.

For other Kia owners with 'keyless', it seems to be a case of 'buy your own faraday pouch'!
 

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@NorthYorkie it would be interesting to know if your 2021 Sportage has the motion-sensor type fob - I suspect not. I suppose you could always try placing the fob close to the car, wait a few minutes and then try and open it on the handle button. But wait until the rain stops... ;)
 
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@NorthYorkie it would be interesting to know if your 2021 Sportage has the motion-sensor type fob - I suspect not. I suppose you could always try placing the fob close to the car, wait a few minutes and then try and open it on the handle button. But wait until the rain stops... ;)
Hi mr.macspot,

Well, I have asked the question of Kia Customer Services. I await their reply with interest.

Yes, when (or is that if?) it stops raining I will do a few experiments and see if the fob does 'go to sleep' when left alone.
 

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Having watched the segment on the One Show, I think the obvious thing is to do is keep the key fobs in a 'faraday cage' pouch/box and/or add some sort of secondary protection to the vehicle (modern day versions of the 'Krooklock', disklock etc).

Not that you should have to with a modern vehicle, but I suppose we are where we are.

I wonder if ultimately Kia can find a way to deactivate the keyless software on the vehicle, and owners can go back to pressing the button on the fob.

As you rightly point out, 'Keyless' is a 'solution' to the really insignificant, minor matter of pressing a button on a key fob!
Having read all the reviews and comparisons I could find, I decided to buy Defender Mini Signal Blocker pouches, these seemed to come out on top every time, but turned out to be a real disappointment. I ordered them direct from the makers, Solon Security.
On arrival they looked to be well made and accomadated my Kia Niro 4 smart key very well. To begin with I assumed they were doing their job, this was a mistake. On the second day of using it, when standing next to the car with the key still carefully tucked up in the velcro fastened pocket, the car door mirrors unfolded, indicating that the key had been detected! I was surprised, disappointed and annoyed. I then experimented with the orientation of the wallet and it seemed to be "leaky" depending on how it was held. If just loose in the hand the key would be detected. If the closure was given some extra help by grasping it, the key was undetected. This is not satisfactory and very hit and miss. There was absolutely nothing visibly wrong with it. It looked well made and had only been used for a day. To cap it all the other wallet behaved in exactly the same way. I dare say that they reduce the RF signal strength but in my experience do not block it. As I do not know how sensitive the detection equipment is that potential car thieves use, I want something that blocks the signal completely. They should be renamed Signal Reducing Pouches.
I will say that when contacting the company, Solon Security offered me a refund straight away.
I am now in the process of making my own small boxes from aluminium.
 

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Kia Sportage GT Line S 2019 (69 plate)
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Please remember that all of these faraday pouches ‘wear’ as such. I’ve had a number of them over the last 5 years and only purchased pouches which had high reviews from various places. However, they all seem to only last a few months at best and then a new one is required.

I purchased a metal tin for the key a while back and that seems to work for me and doesn’t wear off. However price is more expensive, think I paid £30and also it’s more bulky so doesn’t just slip into smaller pockets but it does seem to do the job.

this is the link to the tin I bought.

 

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Please remember that all of these faraday pouches ‘wear’ as such. I’ve had a number of them over the last 5 years and only purchased pouches which had high reviews from various places. However, they all seem to only last a few months at best and then a new one is required.

I purchased a metal tin for the key a while back and that seems to work for me and doesn’t wear off. However price is more expensive, think I paid £30and also it’s more bulky so doesn’t just slip into smaller pockets but it does seem to do the job.

this is the link to the tin I bought.

I bought a couple of Halfords finest Faraday pouches when I got my Niro in 2019. One is in daily use and the other has the second key in it. I tested the "daily" one yesterday by progressively moving it away from the car until the key fob was no longer recognized. This occurred when the key was about 5 ft from the car. I also tested it at various heights above ground level and the same result was found from ground level to the key being on the top step of a 5ft high stepladder. This was repeated for both pouches with the same result. So, at about 27months of daily use there appears to be little or no degradation of the pouches. Pretty good I reckon for a tenner each!
My son and daughter-in-law "lost" her BMW X5 overnight a few months back. They kept the key visibly on a windowsill next to the front door.. They got little sympathy from the police, not surprisingly ("it's just another one of many, sir"). They had never heard of a Faraday pouch. When we visited yesterday, there was the key to the replacement Rangerover, sitting on the windowsill nest to the front door! Some people never learn!!! I took them straight down to Halfords and bought them a couple of pouches.....:rolleyes:
 
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A working Faraday pouch should not be recognized by the car even when right alongside. Normal operation of the fob is to be non effective at around 5 ft.
Agree, a working faraday pouch should not be recognised by the car irrespective of the distance from the vehicle. I can stand touching my Sportage with the key in the pouch and I am unable to open the doors until the key is removed. Please be aware as previously mention the effectiveness of the pouch deteriorates over time and you should renew them on a regular basis. Just keep checking with the key inside and you will soon find out when to replace.
 

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A working Faraday pouch should not be recognized by the car even when right alongside. Normal operation of the fob is to be non effective at around 5 ft.
My experiences with the fob are exactly the same, the doors stop unlocking when the fob is around 5ft from the car. With them in the pouch the car won't unlock. The fob signal is weak, which is the whole point of a relay attack, the signal is amplified so the car will unlock even if the fob is further away.
To my mind if the car can be opened when the fob is in a pouch, no matter how far it is, then the pouch isn't working.
 
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The relay key theft is only really going to happen at home. So carrying your keys around in these pouches is a bit pointless & a waste of money.
I keep mine in the tin at home so the signal isn’t broadcast as like you say, that’s the time it’s likely to be stolen.
 

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I bought a couple of Halfords finest Faraday pouches when I got my Niro in 2019. One is in daily use and the other has the second key in it. I tested the "daily" one yesterday by progressively moving it away from the car until the key fob was no longer recognized. This occurred when the key was about 5 ft from the car. I also tested it at various heights above ground level and the same result was found from ground level to the key being on the top step of a 5ft high stepladder. This was repeated for both pouches with the same result. So, at about 27months of daily use there appears to be little or no degradation of the pouches. Pretty good I reckon for a tenner each!
My son and daughter-in-law "lost" her BMW X5 overnight a few months back. They kept the key visibly on a windowsill next to the front door.. They got little sympathy from the police, not surprisingly ("it's just another one of many, sir"). They had never heard of a Faraday pouch. When we visited yesterday, there was the key to the replacement Rangerover, sitting on the windowsill nest to the front door! Some people never learn!!! I took them straight down to Halfords and bought them a couple of pouches.....:rolleyes:
As others have just clarified, it sounds like your pouches aren’t working as take key out of pouch and do same thing. I think it will probably be same. If I have my key in my pocket but partner tried to unlock the car from the other side, it will not open as it’s out of range of key.
when using an effective pouch, you can hold key in pouch up to the button on door and press it and it will not open (signal not being generated). Try this with your pouch, if you can open with key in pouch next to button on door then the pouch is not working and useless.
 
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