Friday, August 19, 2011

Grand Theft Auto: The Real Life Edition

The number of automobile thefts in the Metro has increased at an alarming rate over the past few months. Just a few weeks ago, a yoga teacher was killed in yet another carjacking incident in Kamuning, Quezon City. To think, Kamuning's just a 5-minute drive away from my place! This really got me scared as hell! Just shows that car thieves here no longer just smash windows or pick locks to break into cars, they now employ violence in order to perpetrate their evil scheme.

On the other side of the planet, though, thieves are employing a more tech-savvy approach. These thieves, common in Europe, use laptops equipped with an RFID microreader to hack into the systems of high-end cars, particularly those with keyless ignition technology. I even read an article about thieves making use of cellphones in order to unlock and start a car. Pretty cool, eh? Haha!

Many advanced cars today rely on software-based security systems to deter theft. However, even as security is improved, these hi-tech thieves, armed with their technical know-how, manage to stay one step ahead. This is why some say lower-end cars, which still have an ignition key and are less feature-rich, are better since they are immune to hacking. I disagree.

We do not have a lot of high-end cars in the Philippines and most of the cars here have ignition keys, yet carnapping and carjacking remain rampant. The ugly truth is that if someone wants to steal a car, he will, regardless of whether the car is high-end or low-end. Auto theft has become big business and so thieves will definitely find ways to carry out their plan, whether by old-fashioned or hi-tech means. The solution is not better automobile security. If we want to lessen, if not totally eradicate crimes like these, we need more stringent laws and increased efforts on the part of law enforcers.

entry #9

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