BANBURY, England, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Efforts to combat increasing levels of hi-tech car crime have received a shot in the arm thanks to the pioneering work of an Oxfordshire business, which has developed a unique 'anti-hack' security device.
Over a year in development and having been subjected to months of rigorous testing, the non-invasive, tamper-proof system is the brainchild of Banbury-based automotive security innovation firm On Board Defence and is the first of its kind to achieve certification from Thatcham Research, the UK motor insurers' research centre.
Designed to prevent vehicles being stolen without the owner's key, the signal-blocking 'Portector' stops 'electronic compromise' by disabling the car's On Board Diagnostic (OBD) port. The data access point is meant for vehicle technicians to perform diagnostic maintenance but thieves can use it to plug into a car's computer system in order to programme a blank key or bypass the immobiliser.
According to published figures from the Office for National Statistics, theft of a motor vehicle has increased by 1%, from 75,308 year ending March 2014 to 75,809 year ending March 2015, which is a sudden reverse in the trend for declining vehicle theft over the past two decades. Statistics published by Thatcham Research also suggest that, for the first time in 20 years, insurance payouts to victims of vehicle theft have gone up. It's believed the increased level of theft is attributable to organised criminal gangs, which are stealing cars to order for resale on the international black market.
"The irony of this situation is that EU legislation introduced to create a level playing field for the service and repair of vehicles by franchised and independent garages, has contributed to an online boom in diagnostic equipment for both legitimate and fraudulent purposes. Hand-held devices made specifically for stealing cars are widely available on the web but it's not illegal to buy or sell them," said Paul Chase, Managing Director of On Board Defence.
In certain London boroughs, annual vehicle theft has risen by as much as 23%, according to Metropolitan Police statistics.
News release issued by Blackbird Communications on behalf of On Board Defence.
SOURCE On Board Defence