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      07-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
ikonic
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Should F30 owners be worried about this theft?

As some of you will have no doubt seen on the BIMMERPOST front page .....

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712717


This is becoming quite a serious problem here in the UK going off various news reports. Including this on Pistonheads (quite a popular UK motoring site):

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/t...blank+BMW+keys


To summarize, with access to the car's OBD port, thieves are able to program a "clone key" allowing themselves to drive away with your BMW.

There is also apparently a "dead" area which the alarm motion sensors can't spot, meaning in a lot of cases, the alarms have not been activated whilst the thieves have plugged their devices into the car's OBD port.

So far, I have heard of numerous 1 Series and , E60 5 Series, E9x 3 Series as well as some X5/6's being affected by this here in the UK.

Haven't heard of any F30s being stolen in this manner - yet; possibly because its too new, although there have been some reports of a new F 7 series being stolen in this manner.


Anyone more technical have any thoughts on whether we F30 owners should be worried about this???

Some tabloid press have quoted police sources as saying almost 300 BMWs have been stolen in this manner!
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      07-03-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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I read this in a recent edition of AutoExpress and the article highlighted many of the victims being BMW owners, although the problem is not exclusive to BMW.

No idea if the F30 is vulnerable in the same way. Thatcham are reportedly working on the problem while BMW declined to comment it seems. My question would be - if the current F30 is vulnerable, would BMW offer any sort of fix that could be retro-fitted? Being somewhat cynical I suspect the answer to that would be 'No' because the cost of doing that would probably be higher than settling the one or two court cases where someone is successful in demonstrating that a design flaw led to the loss of the vehicle.

Maybe it's time to dig out the old 'CrookLock'... although I understand even these can be defeated in a short time.
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      07-03-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
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If it is possible for them to do it, what's the best way to protect our cars in other ways?
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      07-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
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Well, the chaps on PH have been talking about an old fashioned Disklok as Rob mentions.


Alternatively, you could look at disabling the OBD port somehow or at least making it a bit more difficult to access for the would-be robbers.

I've not got my F30 yet.... whereabouts is the OBD port in the F30??
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      07-03-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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The OBD port is in the drivers footwell, near to the door... within easy reach of an arm through a broken window

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      07-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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Probably driver's side, lower A pillar, within the footwell where it usually is. I have not looked on this car.

Edit: Sorry, not quick enough.
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      07-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolDude196 View Post
If it is possible for them to do it, what's the best way to protect our cars in other ways?
By the sound of it... make sure you have sufficient GAP insurance! http://www.car2cover.co.uk/
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      07-03-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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Can't we just put an homemade adapter ?

meaning we cut the whole OBD, put an adapter in between the wires...

That way, we constantly have the OBD disconnected, but
would just hook it up again via the homemade adapter only whenever needed...
Keeping the OBD at home !
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      07-03-2012, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
Can't we just put an homemade adapter ?

meaning we cut the whole OBD, put an adapter in between the wires...

That way, we constantly have the OBD disconnected, but
would just hook it up again via the homemade adapter only whenever needed...
Keeping the OBD at home !
That's an idea. I read somewhere people were talking about modifying the actual prongs on the port which is similar to your idea.

Only worry is I can't see it being looked upon too favorably by a dealer should your car ever need warranty work?
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      07-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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For prospective UK F30 buyers, something else to consider.

When the dealer showed me the proposed spec for the car, in amongst the delivery, fuel, road tax stuff was 'BMW A Glaze' for 399. I asked them to remove this and replace it with a Tracker installation which is 249 for the unit (fitted) and 299 for lifetime membership, plus it should knock a few quid off your insurance premiums.
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      07-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #11
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you could pretty much steal any modern car by using the OBD port and the correct software etc.... in the same way you could steal any car by putting it on the back of a truck and driving it away.

I think it's a bit of scaremongering.
to access the OBD port you would have to at least force the door/smash the window, both of which would result in the alarm being triggered/attention being drawn. They'd be as well towing it away.

anyway, regardless of how they steal it (unless you leave it unlocked with the key in it) your insurance will cover it. end of.

stop worrying and enjoy your lovely BMW
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      07-03-2012, 05:04 PM   #12
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Svache! You are called upon to step up!
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      07-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #13
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Two words. Passwords and encryption. Done. Auto manufacturers need to implement IT security in their software and hardware systems.
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      07-03-2012, 06:08 PM   #14
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And biometrics.

I'm thinking retinal scans, coupled with a blood assay.
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      07-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
Svache! You are called upon to step up!
lol to do what? Cut off the connector and make my own connector there? lol they will simply look at the cable color coding and connect those instead.

This is actually one of the reasons I love BMW Assist. If your car gets stolen, it will be easier to retrieve it's location.

I wonder about one thing, though, the current cars (at least the F10 and F30 do) need the ignition to be on in order to have the ODB connector give an IP address to any connected computer (to establish a connection basically). How to they override that part and still establish a connection?

Either way, I don't think custom connectors will be the solution. I think you should look more in something like passwords or pincodes to get it protected. Even a steel plate over the connector would scare some of them away because of the added time to get that steel plate uncovered (that is, if you locked it somehow lol).
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      07-03-2012, 09:09 PM   #16
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Hmm. I know you have to press the brake to start up the car with the 8 speed, so maybe a brake lock would work?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Club-Vehic.../dp/B000L9T7AY

I know it's kinda tacky to have a physical lock (just like those old school wheel locks) but this might be the best solution.

I've never had this product before, but this news scares me enough to want to try...
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      07-04-2012, 01:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svache View Post
I wonder about one thing, though, the current cars (at least the F10 and F30 do) need the ignition to be on in order to have the ODB connector give an IP address to any connected computer (to establish a connection basically). How to they override that part and still establish a connection?
That does at least offer me some comfort.

I thought I had read somewhere that earlier BMWs allowed an OBD connection to be established even with the ignition off, so if that has changed on the F30 then it's one more obstacle for thieves to overcome.
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      07-04-2012, 01:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rt10415 View Post
you could pretty much steal any modern car by using the OBD port and the correct software etc.... in the same way you could steal any car by putting it on the back of a truck and driving it away.

I think it's a bit of scaremongering.
to access the OBD port you would have to at least force the door/smash the window, both of which would result in the alarm being triggered/attention being drawn. They'd be as well towing it away.

anyway, regardless of how they steal it (unless you leave it unlocked with the key in it) your insurance will cover it. end of.

stop worrying and enjoy your lovely BMW
What would the insurer do in the case or similar because as far as I'm aware there aren't any new 1m's around? Would they just give you the money or a used one if available?
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      07-04-2012, 07:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rt10415 View Post
you could pretty much steal any modern car by using the OBD port and the correct software etc.... in the same way you could steal any car by putting it on the back of a truck and driving it away.

I think it's a bit of scaremongering.
to access the OBD port you would have to at least force the door/smash the window, both of which would result in the alarm being triggered/attention being drawn. They'd be as well towing it away.

anyway, regardless of how they steal it (unless you leave it unlocked with the key in it) your insurance will cover it. end of.

stop worrying and enjoy your lovely BMW
I totally agree. If someone wants to steal your car, they are going to steal it, end of story. If there is a will, there is a way. I know that I am not going to spend any time worrying about it. I have car insurance for a reason and as much as I love my cars, they are replaceable and are not worth me spending any of my time wondering and worrying if they may be stolen.
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      07-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #20
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I agree, if someone wants your car then they'll have it unless you surround it by armed guards and keep a bunch of venomous snakes in the driver's footwell.

Suppose the answer to the original question is - are you the sort of person who worries? Still, it's interesting to discuss a potential vulnerability with the F30 (i.e. smashing the drivers window to access the OBD without triggering the alarm) and I guess it doesn't hurt to be informed, and maybe wonder (hope) if there's a solution.

As to relying on your insurance, sure we all have it but making a total loss claim, driving around in some inferior courtesy car for months while you wait for a replacement, trying to negotiate a decent settlement value and then having to declare the claim on any subsequent proposal (and getting stuck with a loaded premium as a result) is probably not top of my list of fun things to do

Actually, what I need is a Trunk Monkey!

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      07-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #21
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      07-04-2012, 12:47 PM   #22
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No, I don't worry about having cars (or anything) stolen. Life's too short to stress. Car theft is exceeding uncommon these days anyway.
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