Triumph issues advice to prevent keyless ignition hacking

Belgian university cracks security on Tesla keyless ignition tech also used by some Triumph bikes

BELGIAN COMPUTER boffins at the KU Leuven university have released details on how they've hacked into keyless ignition systems on some modern cars - and Triumph bikes.

The Flanders-based institute showed how they were able to crack the security codes with some clever tech, allowing them to enter and start Tesla and Maclaren cars - and Triumph bikes. Only the latest bikes like the Tiger 1200, with the keyless ignition setup, are affected. The hackers have to get close to the car/bike, then the keyfob, and can then potentially attack the secret key codes needed to operate the ignition from there.

But Triumph has issued advice to its owners on how they can avoid this danger. We asked the firm about the hackers, and they sent us the official statement below. In it, they recommend that owners disable their keyfob signal manually when not using the bike, to avoid the potential attacks by hackers.

Tesla claims to have updated its systems to close the loophole, so we imagine Triumph will also be working on updates. In the meantime, check with your Triumph dealer if you're unsure on how to safeguard your bike's keyfob.

Statement on behalf of Triumph Motorcycles Limited

Triumph have previously been contacted by the researchers at KU Leuven with regards to their study and are, of course, conscious of cyber theft.

This type of attack has received a reasonable amount of press coverage in the UK, specifically for vehicle (car) theft, where the key fob has an operating distance and will continue to communicate with the vehicle if within that vicinity. If the key is out of reach or switched off there is no signal to intercept.  The Triumph key fob includes an additional layer of security allowing the rider to disable that signal manually, no matter the proximity to the motorcycle, and as such significantly reduces the risk of theft when utilised, something that is recommended as part of the handover procedure. 

We continue to innovate with technology on motorcycles, whether that be security, safety or functionality and therefore continue to monitor any attempt to overcome these features within our research and development.