Luxury Car Theft Tool “GAME BOY” … “Terrifying Performance” and “Crime Prevention Measures by an Expert” on the Rising Number of Victims | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Luxury Car Theft Tool “GAME BOY” … “Terrifying Performance” and “Crime Prevention Measures by an Expert” on the Rising Number of Victims

Automotive journalist Kumiko Kato delves into the latest luxury car thefts

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A theft device commonly known as a “game boy” is increasingly being used in Japan. What is its amazing performance? ……

The “most feared” car theft tool, commonly called “GAME BOY,” which was first introduced in the March 8 issue of “FRIDAY,” has been on the rise since mid-April, and recently, Junko Mihara, a member of the House of Councilors, posted on SNS that her own RANKU was stolen using the same method. Recently, Junko Mihara, a member of the House of Councillors, posted on a social networking service that her RANKULE had been stolen using the same method, and the incident became a major topic of conversation.

What exactly is a “game boy”? We would like to introduce the “GAME BOY” and why it is called the “most fearsome” tool, along with some facts that have come to light since early March. Its features can be summarized as follows.

The following is a summary of its characteristics. The official name is “key emulator. At first, it was nicknamed “GAME BOY” only for Toyota/Lexus. The origin of the name is said to be because it closely resembles the “Game Boy” released by Nintendo in 1989.

Unlike the “CAN Invader,” which has been used in recent years to steal cars, the GAME BOY can be used to steal cars without damaging them at all.

There are different types of gameboys depending on the type of car, with prices ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 euros (approximately 1.6 to 4.8 million yen).

The system reads and analyzes the signals emitted when the car’s door handle is moved. The system reads the signals emitted when the car door handle is moved and analyzes them to create a spare smart key that produces the same electrical signals in a matter of minutes to 40 minutes.

One unit can store key information for 20 cars.

A kind of “GAME BOY. The name “GAME BOY” can be seen on the screen. There is a kind of antenna on the tip of the key to catch radio waves. It also has a simple structure with only about six buttons.

The most frightening reason is that it is possible to make and steal a spare key on the spot, in a short time, without even touching the car. The process of making (i.e., analyzing) a spare key can be done from several dozen meters away from the car. In other words, during the few seconds that the door handle is being jiggled, some security system is activated and the owner is notified, and even if the owner notices and comes to look at the car, it is unlikely that the thief will be aware of the thief’s presence. The owner would assume it was a “security malfunction” and return home. The owner would then analyze the car, make a spare key, and steal the car with ease.

Another important point is that it does not damage the car. Until now, the most common theft device has been a tool called a “CAN invader. The “GAME BOY” is a tool that is used to access the computer by forcibly prying open the headlights and front fenders and connecting the wires directly to the car’s CAN bus. However, since “GAME BOY” can make keys using the aforementioned method, there are no scratches at all, and although there are many comments on social networking sites asking “How can we be sure that “GAME BOY” did this?

Photo provided by a Land Cruiser owner interviewed by Kato, stolen on May 29 and found by chance in Chiba Prefecture on the morning of May 30. The vehicle model is a Land Cruiser 300 with CAN invader countermeasures.

GAME BOY” has had a major impact in recent months. The reason for its creation is to steal vehicles such as the RANCRUISER and ALFARD, which are popular worldwide and highly priced on the black market. Toyota, the manufacturer of both models of vehicles, began installing a genuine security system for CAN invaders around the end of ’22. This security system, manufactured by Sumitomo Electric, allows only the correct signals to pass through and shuts out unauthorized signals coming from the CAN invaders to deter unauthorized door unlocking and engine startup.

When this system was installed in the line, it became difficult for conventional CAN invaders to steal from vehicles such as the RANCRU 300 manufactured after November ’22 and the 40-series Alphard released in May ’23. Therefore, it is highly likely that the “GAME BOY” was developed, which can be stolen completely regardless of CAN and can also create a function equivalent to a spare key.

Unfortunately, however, a CAN invader tool that is compatible with this Toyota security system has also recently been released. At 26,000 euros (about 4.2 million yen), it is slightly cheaper than the most expensive “GAME BOY TEK” (about 4.8 million yen) Although it is a CAN invader, it also has a spare key making function.

With a light touch, keys can be made within an hour, without scratching. How can you protect your car from such a “game boy” threat?

The owner of the Lancel 300 interviewed had also installed a steering wheel lock as a security measure. However, the steering wheel itself was cut off and the lock was removed.

In order to ensure protection, it is said that it is effective to install a separate engine start system called “keyless block” or “keyless interlock off” as an option, based on a famous security brand product, which prevents the engine from starting with a spare key made by “GAME BOY. However, these systems are expensive, costing between 300,000 and 400,000 yen, and with the rise in crime, there is a rush of reservations for installation. The most crowded security stores will not be able to install them until next March or later. We also checked with the manufacturer, but the product itself is in such short supply that it is difficult to ship to stores for installation.

However, owners must be very concerned if their cars are being stolen on a daily basis. We would like to introduce some external security systems that can be installed relatively quickly, are inexpensive, and have “GAME BOY” countermeasures. Although some of them are expensive, “GAME BOY” is a tool that conventional countermeasures are completely ineffective against, so if you really want to protect your car, we recommend installing a brand-name security system that you can trust.

KaKaRUN (K2 auto factory)

A device that can shut off fuel. The engine will not start unless a special activation device, known only to the owner and K2, is set inside the car and activated from there. Therefore, even if the key could be duplicated in the “game boy,” it would not be possible to start the car. Prices range from 29,700 yen to 66,000 yen (including installation labor) including tax.

Argus D1 (Jupiter)

This system can prevent “GAME BOY” from being duplicated by emitting a special radio wave. The price is expensive at 99,000 yen including tax (basic set + installation labor), but there is no doubt about its performance.

Tire Guard (Locksmith Co., Ltd.)

Steel tire guards made by safe craftsmen. It boasts higher hardness than conventional tire guards, and in the more than 3,000 units sold so far, it has never been broken or stolen. The price is around 100,000 yen (including installation labor).

Note that simple security goods such as steering wheel locks and tire locks recommended by the National Police Agency and Toyota dealers are not effective at all. This is because tools for cutting steering wheel locks are becoming more sophisticated, and there are also methods for removing them such as cutting the steering wheel itself. Also, because of their structure, tire locks can be easily destroyed by rotating a tire once while driving with the lock installed, even if the lock is a sturdy type made overseas. They are even easier to break on a powerful and heavy vehicle such as a RANKLE 300.

In order to protect their cars from the ever-evolving and sneaky tactics of thieves, owners must also update their awareness.

  • Interview, text, and photographs by Kumiko Kato Kumiko Kato

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