Third of London car thefts result from hacking, Home Office says

A third of car thefts in London are the result of sophisticated hacking methods, the Home Office has revealed.

Home Secretary Theresa May said criminals are using advanced digital methods to steal other people’s vehicles. As cars become more reliant on software, thieves no longer have to take keys or break windows, instead hackers can access and drive away with a car by creating and programming their own keys.

This government announcement will come as a concern to both British car owners and to motor trade businesses, which store a vast number of vehicles on their forecourts or in their showrooms and garages. First and foremost it reiterates the need for a quality motor trade insurance policy to cover vehicles against theft, but it also highlights why it can be valuable to seek the help of risk management experts to advise on how to stay protected as criminal threats evolve.

Speaking during an event organised by the Reform think-tank in Westminster, Ms May said that hackers often intercept the data needed to carry out the crime when the unsuspecting driver uses his or her securely coded key. She added that they can even use special malware to seize control over the vehicles through satellites, issuing remote commands to unlock doors, disabling alarms or starting engines.

The Home Secretary concluded by saying the Home Office is working with the Metropolitan Police to find a solution to this increasingly prominent problem.