Apple AirTags are now being used by thieves to track and steal luxury cars and other high-end vehicles
Back in April, Apple launched its $29 coin-sized tracker AirTag to help people find lost things. The AirTag is a tracking device and an iPhone accessory that provides a private and secure way to easily track and locate your keys, wallet, luggage, backpack, and more.
Never thought about the unintended consequences of its technology back then, the Apple AirTag has now become a tool of choice for thieves to track and steal luxury cars and other high-end vehicles, according to a report by the Canadian police.
York Regional Police said in a statement that “Brand name ‘air tags’ are placed in out-of-sight areas of the target vehicles when they are parked in public places like malls or parking lots. Thieves then track the targeted vehicles to the victim’s residence, where they are stolen from the driveway”
York Region is a municipality in Southern Ontario, Canada. Since September, The York Regional Police officers have investigated five incidents where suspects have placed small tracking devices on high-end vehicles so they can later locate and steal them.
Apple AirTag went on sale on April 30. The $29 AirTag ($99 for a pack of four) is a tiny metal tracker that you can attach to a keychain, drop in a bag, or snap onto your luggage to keep track of those items. It works by using a Bluetooth signal to tap into a network of about a billion Apple devices in the world, like iPhones and Macs.
However, thieves in Canada used the AirTag differently. According to the Canadian police, the thieves use tools like screwdrivers to enter the vehicles through the driver or passenger door, while ensuring not to set off alarms.
“Once inside, an electronic device, typically used by mechanics to reprogram the factory setting, is connected to the onboard diagnostics port below the dashboard and programs the vehicle to accept a key the thieves have brought with them. Once the new key is programmed, the vehicle will start and the thieves drive it away, the police said
York Regional Police provided an example of one AirTag found in a truck’s trailer light socket. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 vehicles have been stolen across the region over the past year.