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Someone got in my car and I'm going crazy trying to figure out how

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Zeromus-X, Sep 22, 2017.

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  1. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

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    Walked outside to drive to the store today and found an empty bag of Oreos on the inside hatch cover. Immediately made me start inspecting. Look inside, the car is trashed; literally, just full of random trash, some of which isn't mine (there's a sturdy ceramic Starbucks mug for example... I don't own one). The front center console has all its drink holder sections ripped out and they're on the floor. Everything from my glove compartment is... oddly, sitting in a nice pile on the passenger seat. But nothing appears to have been taken; two pairs of sunglasses that were in the glove compartment are simply on the floor, registration is still there, iPhone cable is still plugged into a USB port. And, best of all, the electronic drums I loaded in the car previously, filling the entire hatch area under the cover, were all there, untouched.

    Aside from wondering what in the world happened, I'm also wondering how. I park behind my house in a parking lot, it's a good 20-25 feet away, so I can't imagine the key fob works from that distance (and if so, that's a problem!). The handles shouldn't have presented themselves if someone walked up to the car and it would be really strange for them to randomly start poking the door handles when my fob happened to be at that end of the house. No glass is broken, no pry marks.

    Is there any way to get a log of when the car wakes up? When the doors opened I assume the car logs this somewhere since all systems power up. I'm just starting to run out of theories that make sense, maybe if I knew when I could have a neighbor or nearby business peek at camera footage.
     
  2. jjh1234

    jjh1234 Member

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  3. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    If I was you I'd get some kind of RF blocker to put your keys into.

    To me that was the most likely issue.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    You might have been a victim of the passive entry security issue that affects all vehicles with the passive entry features. (i.e. you walk up to the car and it unlocks by detecting the presence of the key fob).

    The way the criminals are exploiting this works as follows:

    1. The car normally sends out a periodic very low power signal looking for the key fob.
    2. If the key fob hears it, the key fob responds, the car receives that signal, and unlocks.
    3. When you're far away, this doesn't happen as the signal strength both from the car and the key fob are too low, so neither hears each other.
    4. The criminals are using a receiver/amplifier to pick up the signals from each device and rebroadcast them. This way, they can simulate that the key fob is near the car when it isn't.

    You can defend against this in a couple different ways:

    1. There are some RF-blocking pouches you can get for cheap on Amazon. Put the key fob in there when you're away from the car, and even the amplified signals can't get through it. I use this method when I'm on a trip and in the hotel room.

    2. In the latest software versions for the car, there is a new setting in the menus called "Passive Entry". If you turn that off, then the car doesn't broadcast the periodic signal looking for the key fob, making the attack impossible. The disadvantage is that you will have to double-click the key fob to unlock the car each time.
     
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  5. Hazelwood

    Hazelwood Member

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    Are you sure you completely closed the door? I learned (kids!) That if a door isn't completely shut the handles won't retract and the car won't lock (you can't even force it to lock). I don't just walk away anymore, I use the fob to lock it so I'm sure it locks.

    Just a thought.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. ABVA

    ABVA Member

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    Dashcam, Dashcam, Dashcam. Please look into installing a Dashcam, so you can ascertain what happened when you were away and possibly identify the culprit.
     
    • Like x 4
  7. mal_tsla

    mal_tsla Member

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    This passive entry attack can be thwarted using Time of Flight measurements to detect distance between car and key fob.

    This method is used by Apple to prevent Apple Watch unlocking on Macs from falling prey to signal repeater attacks. I'm disappointed if Tesla hasn't figured this out
     
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  8. Ghosty

    Ghosty Member

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    ABVA - what kind of dashcam do you have in mind/recommend? I didn't know the were around to activate when car is off. Would be nice to have a notice that car is activated with security cameras. That would scare away thieves.
     
  9. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

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    While this makes sense, anyone professional enough to be doing this would have done more than throw some trash in the car and dig for loose change. They didn't grab anything, they left things behind. There were thousands of dollars in music equipment in the trunk that I was too tired to move (changed that one fast). At minimum they could have unhooked the charging cable and walked away with an easy couple hundred bucks.

    Could have happened for sure. I'm not ruling out human error. I'm biased but I feel that it would be unusual. I do have a feeling that they came in through the driver's side door because my seat was back really far when I got in it today, yet it was still on my seating profile.

    Been in my Amazon wish list forever but never pulled the trigger. Also don't have wifi available where the car is so uploading to the cloud would be a costly move.

    Ultimately I'm glad I lost nothing of significance (that I'm aware of yet... still gotta go through paperwork to make sure) and hope it's nothing more sinister. Another camera is on the way, I won't be able to see the car based on where it sits but I can at least see people coming and going with it.
     
  10. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    What Hazelwood said. Doors prolly weren't completely closed.
     
  11. berkeley_ecar

    berkeley_ecar S 90D (fully loaded) delivered 18 Mar 2017

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    Very disturbing, indeed. The passive entry attack certainly sounds plausible. But doesn't the "auto-lock on walk-away" take some time to activate? Could someone have been lurking when you left the vehicle, and gotten to it just before it locked, without being seen by you? Or do you always lock manually? I'm selling a dashcam kit elsewhere in the forum (family gifted me with a surprise install, not knowing I'd been accumulating components), and you can purchase a cheap freedompop Wi-Fi hotspot that gives you a gigabyte free every month. That would do the trick in terms of monitoring.
     
  12. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

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    Does anyone know how far you have to walk away before the car will lock? My spare key fob is in the bedroom which is fairly close to the car (it isn't anymore!). Maybe it hasn't been locking for a while and this was my wake-up call.
     
  13. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    Did you test it? Where you lock your car and then put both sets of keys where you normally keep them before walking out to the car (without the keys) to see if the car is indeed locked.

    My bet is the car will open right up for you since 25feet is nothing. Hence the need for an RF pouch.
     
  14. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about this! Yet thank you for an intriguing story at the same time.

    Two lines of thought for me:

    a) Could there kids or similar that could have gotten into the car (e.g. the trash) and spent some time?

    b) The removal of items from the glove compartment and the center console could suggest some kind of trim removal operation to access something. The car's computers? Maybe ask a service center read the logs and see if there are any events/errors that might indicate something being done.
     
  15. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    Ask Tesla for log when the door opened
     
  16. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

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    I'll be testing when I'm home this weekend for sure.
     
  17. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    There's an interesting feature in the locking system that has not been discussed lately. This could have caused your problem.
    If you walk up to your S and double click the top of your fob, BUT you don't pull the door open, the car stays unlocked.
    Let me say that again. Walk up to within range with your fob and double click the top. But do not open any door. Walk away. For instance,
    walk back in your house and put your fob down somewhere out of range of the car. Walk back to the car. While you were gone, the handles, receded. Now walk up to your car and touch any door handle. The handles will present. This is a feature.
    Another example. You are in a parking lot. You can't find your phone. You start back to your car. You are in a hurry, you double click the fob as you walk up to the car. Then you find your phone in your other pocket, so you do an "about-face" and walk away. You don't know, but your car is unlocked. Anyone could walk up and get inside your car.
    To lock the car, you have two choices. 1) open a door and close it. now it locks. 2) single click your fob to lock all doors.
    Don't believe me? Test if yourself. The S has been this way since they first shipped.
    Could you have accidentally double clicked and unlocked your car - maybe from inside/away from the car? It remains unlocked until loked using 1 or 2 above.
     
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  18. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    that is all valid, but that sure is a lot of trouble for some bad guy to go through to use the OP's car as a crash pad
     
  19. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    this sounds more plausible
     
  20. murphyS90D

    murphyS90D Member

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    The buttons on the fob work from at least 75 feet away from the car. That is the furthest I have tried. Any kids that might have been playing with the fob(s).
     

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