Canada to ban the Flipper Zero to stop surge in car thefts

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Flipper Zero

The Canadian authorities plans to prohibition nan Flipper Zero and akin devices aft tagging them arsenic devices thieves tin usage to bargain cars.

The Flipper Zero is simply a portable and programmable pen-testing instrumentality that helps research pinch and debug various hardware and integer devices complete aggregate protocols, including RFID, radio, NFC, infrared, and Bluetooth.

Users person been demonstrating Flipper Zero's features successful videos shared online since its release, showcasing its capacity to conduct replay attacks to unlock cars, unfastened car shed doors, activate doorbells, and clone various integer keys.

"Criminals person been utilizing blase devices to bargain cars. And Canadians are rightfully worried," Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne tweeted connected Wednesday.

"Today, I announced we are banning nan importation, waste and usage of user hacking devices, for illustration flippers, utilized to perpetrate these crimes."

Champagne's announcement comes aft a national acme connected combatting car theft hosted this week by nan Government of Canada successful Ottawa, Ontario.

Champagne tweet Flipper Zero ban

According to nan Canadian government, astir 90,000 vehicles (or 1 car each six minutes) are reported stolen each year, pinch car theft resulting successful $1 cardinal successful yearly losses, including security costs for fixing and replacing stolen cars.

The figures shared by nan Canadian authorities erstwhile describing nan car theft surge presently impacting Canada align pinch the astir caller data shared by nan Statistics Canada authorities agency, which shows an expanding number of car theft reports since 2021.

Canadian constabulary besides reported that centrifugal conveyance theft had nan astir important impact connected an summation successful nan nationalist Crime Severity Index successful 2022.

The Canadian government's Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) section (and nan country's manufacture and commerce regulator) says that it will "pursue each avenues to prohibition devices utilized to bargain vehicles by copying nan wireless signals for distant keyless entry, specified arsenic nan Flipper Zero, which would let for nan removal of those devices from nan Canadian marketplace done collaboration pinch rule enforcement agencies."

Flipper Devices: Cars built aft nan 1990s are safe

​While nan Canadian authorities insists that nan Flipper Zero is 1 of nan reasons down nan existent surge of car thefts successful nan country, Flipper Devices, nan institution down nan devices, says nan gadget can't beryllium utilized to bargain vehicles built wrong nan past 24 years.

"Flipper Zero can't beryllium utilized to hijack immoderate car, specifically nan ones produced aft nan 1990s, since their information systems person rolling codes," Flipper Devices COO Alex Kulagin told BleepingComputer.

"Also, it'd require actively blocking nan awesome from nan proprietor to drawback nan original signal, which Flipper Zero's hardware is incapable of doing.

"Flipper Zero is intended for information testing and improvement and we person taken basal precautions to guarantee nan instrumentality can't beryllium utilized for nefarious purposes."

Amazon has besides banned nan waste of nan Flipper Zero since April 2023 for being a paper skimming instrumentality aft nan Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency began seizing incoming Flipper Zero purchases successful March 2023 owed to its alleged usage by criminals.