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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science News and Announcements

Car Remote Control Cipher KeeLoq is Broken
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Car Remote Control Cipher KeeLoq is BrokenKeeLoq is a cipher used in several car anti-theft mechanisms distributed by Microchip Technology Inc. It may protect your car if you own a Chrysler, Daewoo, Fiat, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen, or Jaguar. The cipher is included in the remote control device that opens and locks your car and that activates the anti-theft mechanism.

Each device has a unique key that takes 18 billion billion values. With 100 computers, it would take several decades to find such a key. Therefore Keeloq was widely believed to be secure. In our research we have found a method to identify the key in less than a day. The attack requires access for about 1 hour to the remove control device (for example, while it is stored in your pocket). Once we have found the key, we can disactivate the alarm and drive away with your car. The attack has been extensively tested using software simulations.

This research is the joint work between 3 research groups: the computer science department of the Technion, Israel, the research group COSIC of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and the Hebrew University, Israel.

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Galey Zahal
Channel 7
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