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Offline AVGresponding

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Argos "Faraday Box"
« on: September 19, 2021, 10:23:20 am »
Found this while shopping around for an engine oil extraction pump. Words fail me...

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9216455?clickPR=plp:12:27
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Offline Ranayna

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2021, 11:40:05 am »
It does not look all that well made, but it is not really expensive.
And their scenario is, or at least was, a valid one. I do not know if current keyless go systems are still vulnerable, but in the past, repeating attacks were definetely possible.

So what makes this dodgy?
 

Offline bson

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2021, 02:07:15 am »
Assuming the cage has no gaps or openings when closed, then why wouldn't it work?
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2021, 02:30:53 am »
It does not look all that well made, but it is not really expensive.
And their scenario is, or at least was, a valid one. I do not know if current keyless go systems are still vulnerable, but in the past, repeating attacks were definetely possible.

I doubt that these keyfobs will ever be resistant to "MIG in the middle" type attacks simply because a low power consumption keyfob will never be able to support the 'time of flight' processing that is necessary to defeat it.

Quote
So what makes this dodgy?

The £15. For that you can get several metal biscuit tins - complete with yummy bickies - that will do the job just as well, if not better. I think the last metal biscuit tin I bought as a screening can cost me £3 and I got to eat the biscuits.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline bob91343

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2021, 05:30:14 am »
You mean there are key fobs that emit signals while in your pocket?  I thought the only time was when you pushed the button.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2021, 06:03:37 am »
I think the intent is for the proximity fobs that are somewhat common on cars now. You can just leave the fob in your pocket and the car unlocks when you approach it. I've heard of cases where someone left the key on the counter with the car parked outside on the other side of the wall and were able to get in and drive off, then got stranded when they couldn't start the car again. It could possibly work for that application, although that's definitely a bandaid over a stupid design.
 

Offline Haenk

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2021, 06:41:00 am »
Yes, this is against "relaying keyless go" theft.
It is a quite common attack, it seems - however I'm not sure if it is actually possible to drive away (my car complains about a missing key, but older systems might only need to be unlocked once). But opening the car and then accessing OBD might be enough to get a car into running state...
Btw. insurance companies in Germany won't cover theft from relay attacks.

I agree a cookie box is probably even better, but it looks kind of dodgy - my dad keeps his rusty nails and screws in one of those :)
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2021, 08:46:49 am »
It does not look all that well made, but it is not really expensive.
And their scenario is, or at least was, a valid one. I do not know if current keyless go systems are still vulnerable, but in the past, repeating attacks were definetely possible.

I doubt that these keyfobs will ever be resistant to "MIG in the middle" type attacks simply because a low power consumption keyfob will never be able to support the 'time of flight' processing that is necessary to defeat it.
There is an easy fix - motion sensor in the fob that disables when it's not moved for a while. It's criminal that all manufactures are not doing this, and offering it as an upgrade for existing cars.
I believe VW are using some sort of TOF/UWB system now. Fob power consumption need not be an issue because they can still use the same system of waking up via a LF signal if necessary.

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Offline Haenk

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2021, 09:18:01 am »
Talk about criminal manufacturers. The VIN (quite nicely visible through the front window) of my other car can be used to easily calculate the remote unlock code. Motor start could be done via OBD. Of course the manufacturer (thou shalt not name it Lexus) did't bother to fix this, nor did any manufacturer of that time. No wonder the car was on the top 1 spot of most stolen cars twice and in the top 10 for a couple of years. The easy fix was to just cover the VIN by cardboard, a more advanced second fix was a messed up OBD port and a special OBD adapter plug.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2021, 09:20:51 am »
I think the intent is for the proximity fobs that are somewhat common on cars now. You can just leave the fob in your pocket and the car unlocks when you approach it. I've heard of cases where someone left the key on the counter with the car parked outside on the other side of the wall and were able to get in and drive off, then got stranded when they couldn't start the car again. It could possibly work for that application, although that's definitely a bandaid over a stupid design.

Precisely.
At least now they let disable the auto lock/unlock feature (but at the same time are pushing all sorts if functions to your smartphone to justify a connected car, as if there weren't numerous examples of this being a bad thing already from tesla, hyundai ford and toyota to name a few, but people never learn.)
 

Offline electr_peter

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2021, 10:32:18 am »
I do not see anything dodgy with regards to Faraday box for sale. It should do the business, box looks decent to use in the house. There are alternatives, but this box should work for intended purpose.

Potential attack vector is legitimate and well known - relay attack essentially brings wireless key fob closer to a car, car thinks it has a legitimate key nearby and opens/starts up. It is a concern for drivers leaving they car near houses, camper sites and similar places where only small range extension can cause risks.

Manufacturers can do better, but from driver's point of view Faraday box is one way to minimize this risk somewhat.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2021, 11:57:23 am »
]
There is an easy fix - motion sensor in the fob that disables when it's not moved for a while.

How long is "a while" and how does it compare to the longest time you've had to wait in a stationary queue of traffic? I'm not saying that it won't necessarily work, just that the devil is in the detail, as always. All of the mitigations that I can immediately think of for the "stopped in traffic" problem become additional attack vectors.

I believe VW are using some sort of TOF/UWB system now. Fob power consumption need not be an issue because they can still use the same system of waking up via a LF signal if necessary.

The problem with power consumption is more about raw computational power (and concomitant power drain), not about taking an electronic nap. Your fob has to do some sort of cryptographic operation to prove that it's the right fob, the authorised one, and it has to do it within a short time that isn't significant with respect to the time of flight. Otherwise if the computation takes, say 10 us because you have wimpy low power hardware that equates to a time of flight distance of 300 m. That cryptographic operation could be as simple as a keyed LFSR but it has to be really fast otherwise the computation time swamps the flight time and leaves you trying to differentiate between two times that are say (10us computation+(less than 10ns TOF)) and (10us+(more than 10ns)) to figure out if the fob is within 30m.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 12:21:16 pm by Cerebus »
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2021, 12:02:58 pm »
]
There is an easy fix - motion sensor in the fob that disables when it's not moved for a while.

How long is "a while" and how does it compare to the longest time you've had to wait in a stationary queue of traffic? I'm not saying that it won't necessarily work, just that the devil is in the detail, as always. All of the mitigations that I can immediately think of for the "stopped in traffic" problem become additional attack vectors.
Stopping in traffic is not an issue as the key only needs to respond when unlocking or starting.
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Online Cerebus

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2021, 12:26:17 pm »
]
There is an easy fix - motion sensor in the fob that disables when it's not moved for a while.

How long is "a while" and how does it compare to the longest time you've had to wait in a stationary queue of traffic? I'm not saying that it won't necessarily work, just that the devil is in the detail, as always. All of the mitigations that I can immediately think of for the "stopped in traffic" problem become additional attack vectors.
Stopping in traffic is not an issue as the key only needs to respond when unlocking or starting.

So you've just guaranteed that the thief only has to start the car, and then has complete control until they do something to actively lock it again. To be secure, the fob has to be checked for active presence on a regular basis and several already work like that.

You might want to check my previous message as (because of an editing fluff) I omitted stuff on power consumption and only finally posted it a minute or two ago.
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2021, 01:53:46 pm »
There is a video of some thieves doing that proximity key fob stealing.



I wonder if it is fake or real, but indeed it is a possibility.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2021, 02:07:59 pm »
]
There is an easy fix - motion sensor in the fob that disables when it's not moved for a while.

How long is "a while" and how does it compare to the longest time you've had to wait in a stationary queue of traffic? I'm not saying that it won't necessarily work, just that the devil is in the detail, as always. All of the mitigations that I can immediately think of for the "stopped in traffic" problem become additional attack vectors.

I believe VW are using some sort of TOF/UWB system now. Fob power consumption need not be an issue because they can still use the same system of waking up via a LF signal if necessary.

The problem with power consumption is more about raw computational power (and concomitant power drain), not about taking an electronic nap. Your fob has to do some sort of cryptographic operation to prove that it's the right fob, the authorised one, and it has to do it within a short time that isn't significant with respect to the time of flight. Otherwise if the computation takes, say 10 us because you have wimpy low power hardware that equates to a time of flight distance of 300 m. That cryptographic operation could be as simple as a keyed LFSR but it has to be really fast otherwise the computation time swamps the flight time and leaves you trying to differentiate between two times that are say (10us computation+(less than 10ns TOF)) and (10us+(more than 10ns)) to figure out if the fob is within 30m.
You don't necessarily need to do the crypto and TOF as the same operation. For example, the car could send a challenge/wakeup message, and a short time later a "give me the answer" command which is timed.
As regards power, it may make sense to retain the existing 125Khz channel for wake-up, as that has the benefit of potentially zero fob power draw and well-defined, limited range
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2021, 04:26:21 pm »
It does not look all that well made, but it is not really expensive.
And their scenario is, or at least was, a valid one. I do not know if current keyless go systems are still vulnerable, but in the past, repeating attacks were definetely possible.

So what makes this dodgy?

To say it does not look well made is somewhat of an understatement. It's cardboard wrapped in metallised paper, I can see it wearing holes in weeks, assuming the lid hinge lasts that long.

Not to mention the fact that getting a good RF seal is unlikely with the joint gaps that are likely; the lid does not appear to have the metallised paper on the inside edges, so no overlap.

Also the product description mentions keeping your smartphone in it. I'm therefore mildly surprised that it doesn't come with a matching hat.
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Online james_s

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2021, 07:17:50 pm »
Precisely.
At least now they let disable the auto lock/unlock feature (but at the same time are pushing all sorts if functions to your smartphone to justify a connected car, as if there weren't numerous examples of this being a bad thing already from tesla, hyundai ford and toyota to name a few, but people never learn.)

My dad got stranded once when he dropped and broke the phone he had paired to his Tesla. Call me old fashioned but I still prefer a key. Pulling a keyring out of my pocket and inserting the key in a lock just never seemed like a burden in need of a technological solution to me.
 

Offline Jr460

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2021, 07:36:49 pm »
Funny,


Just two nights ago had  conversation with a friend that is tow/repo guy.  We got talking about cars and such and he said he ran into an issue a few times recently.   Owner of a new Corvette, parks car at home, walks in and tosses key fob on desk in the house that is still with in range of the car.   The fob and car keep talking forever, why, no idea.   They go out a few days later when the weather is better to drive the flashy new Corvette and the battery is dead.   My friend gets called for a tow.

He thought this was odd, so he called a friend that was a GM rep.  They looked into it and it happening all over the country.

This little box even if not well shielded just might be helpful in the above case.
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2021, 07:49:01 pm »
Interesting story about the Corvette fob.  Does anyone have any quantitative data about the range between fob and car?  Perhaps the story involved a fob at the margin of the range, and the car kept pinging it to get confirmation?  And did the puny battery in the fob outlast the conversation, but only the car battery discharged?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2021, 10:49:12 pm »
Interesting story about the Corvette fob.  Does anyone have any quantitative data about the range between fob and car?  Perhaps the story involved a fob at the margin of the range, and the car kept pinging it to get confirmation?  And did the puny battery in the fob outlast the conversation, but only the car battery discharged?
Typical range would be a couple of meters at most, if it uses the traditional 125/134kHz LF comms from the car. The car battery would have discharged not from the power draw of the comms, but that the car wouldn't go to sleep, so the battery drained from all the various other systems that stayed active.
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Online fourfathom

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2021, 12:03:57 am »
You mean there are key fobs that emit signals while in your pocket?  I thought the only time was when you pushed the button.

At least some of them emit signals without any button-pushing on your part.  I've had a couple where the car courtesy lights turn on as you approach, and the fob just has to be on your person for the doors to unlock when you grab the door-handle.  I don't know if the fob is regularly transmitting a "ping", or if it is always listening and transmits an ID message when it receives a query from the car.  The fob battery lasts several years, and then you replace it (the battery).
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2021, 01:42:20 am »
That thing looks like a burden to me with the idea of putting the key in there every time and close the latch but I have known someone many years ago who had their keyless car disappeared over night and they kept their key fob in their pocket in the bedroom upstairs which was quite a distance away.

They seem to be selling many of these on Amazon with so many good reviews and very few of them complaining that they can still start their car but not always in detail how.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faraday-Protector-Blocking-Shielding-Protection/dp/B07W94QLKM/

Faraday Key Fob Protector Box, RFID Signal Blocking Box, Faraday Bag Signal Blocking Bag Shielding Pouch Wallet Case for Cell Phone Privacy Protection and Car Key FOB
Brand: briidea
Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.48 x 12.7 x 8.38 cm; 295 Grams
Date First Available ‏ : ‎ 8 Aug. 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars    1,290 ratings
77%5 star
14% 4 star
5% 3 star
1% 2 star
3% 1 star

Quote
Anika vdb Reviewed in Canada on 23 February 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars Scam!
Do not buy this product. I had read so many positive reviews and was hopeful with the product. It doesn’t work I was able to start my car while my key was locked away in this box. Don’t waste your money!
25 people found this helpful

Not very good if the car can be started with the key fob away.


Quote
J. David Dean Reviewed in the United States on 2 December 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not work. Full Stop.

I was advised by my police department to purchase the box after my car was robbed. Apparently a thief in my area has a device that lets him trigger car fobs and open people's cars even when they are locked. I was advised this box would prevent that signal. I have diligently kept my car keys in the box since then. This morning, my car had been robbed again. The box fails to prevent the transmission of signal, meaning it does not work and is therefore a 0-star product.

Someone put a battery in there and they said it caught alight.

Quote
Richard Tworek
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not put Lithium Batteries in it! It will literally light on fire!!!! Mine did!!!🔥🔥🔥
Reviewed in the United States on 4 September 2021
Verified Purchase
IT CAUGHT ON FIRE 🔥!!!!!!!
One person found this helpful

 

Offline Jr460

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2021, 02:45:09 am »
Interesting story about the Corvette fob.  Does anyone have any quantitative data about the range between fob and car?  Perhaps the story involved a fob at the margin of the range, and the car kept pinging it to get confirmation?  And did the puny battery in the fob outlast the conversation, but only the car battery discharged?

From what he told me, only the car battery, and he had it happen a few times just on the newest models.   That is why he talked to someone in he knew at GM.   Again this is second hand and over a few beers, but he said he GM contact told him it is turning out to be a big issue.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Argos "Faraday Box"
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2021, 08:49:42 am »
Quote
  I don't know if the fob is regularly transmitting a "ping", or if it is always listening and transmits an ID message when it receives a query from the car.  The fob battery lasts several years, and then you replace it (the battery).
The fob doesn't ping regularly as that would take too much power. It's the car that periodically sends a ping to wake the fob. They typically use 125Khz ( possibly 134Khz in some countries), and a tuned coil antenna in the fob, which generates enough voltage to wake the fob up with no active receive circuitry. As the communication at this frequency is primarily magnetic, the range is limited and predictable
The fob replies over the same UHF link used for the button functionality. This is actually one of the weaknesses, as for a replay attack, you only need to relay the LF signal - the UHF signal is strong enough to make it back to the car  over tens of metres. What they ought to do is use a much lower transmit power for keyless replies - not sure of any systems actually do that.


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