NFC Sentinel: auto security, simplified
MICS Capstone Project Spring 2024

NFC Sentinel

According to, automobile theft has risen 29% from 2022 to 2023, though the data is unreliable, we know that carjackings are down 5% through the same period. This tells us that criminals are relying on more high tech means of automobile theft. Additionally, it is estimated that 50% of all automobile thefts are in relation to key fobs or passive keyless entry (PKE) hacks. According to, 96% of motorists are at risk of having their car stolen using sophisticated radio frequency hacks that can be carried out without having any user interaction with the keyfob. These relay attacks on automobiles have become so rampant that Canada has begun legislation to outright ban open source security tools in an attempt to prevent further car theft.

This is an ongoing security challenge for the automotive industry. This project, and our research, aims to improve on the security of keyless car key fobs by integrating a novel MFA system using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The current landscape of PKE systems is plagued by vulnerabilities like relay and replay attacks, posing significant risks to vehicle security. Our initiative, "MFA for Keyless Car Key Fobs," addresses these challenges head-on.

We propose an NFC-enabled MFA mechanism that works in tandem with existing key fobs. This innovative solution ensures that the key fob's signal is authorized via a secondary, secure channel, thereby nullifying the threat posed by most entry attacks. Our system is designed to be user-friendly, seamlessly integrating into the daily routines of car owners without adding cumbersome steps to the vehicle access process.Our project not only aims to elevate the security standards of PKE systems but also serves as a stepping stone towards a more secure and technologically advanced automotive industry. Additionally, our solution, NFC Sentinel will work with any car with keyless key fobs irrespective of make and model.

NFC logo: a graphic of a shield above a car


NFC Sentinel : Auto Security Simplified

NFC Sentinel : Auto Security Simplified

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Last updated:

May 20, 2024