Canada wants to ban Flipper Zero, tool would be used for car theft


Canada wants to ban Flipper Zero, tool would be used for car theft

Canada plans to ban the import, sale and use of the Flipper Zero and similar multi-tools. According to the Canadian government, these devices are used to steal cars.

The Canadian government writes that it is “pursuing all options to ban devices that steal cars by copying wireless signals for remote keyless entry, such as the Flipper Zero.” This means that the device may no longer be sold or used in the country. According to Canada, there is a significant increase in the number of car thefts. In 2022, there would be 105,000 stolen vehicles, a record number in the country. Canada's minister of innovation, François-Philippe Champagne, claims that 'advanced tools', such as Flippers, are behind this.

However, the co-founder of Flipper Devices tells PCMag that the tool cannot be used to steal cars manufactured after the 1990s because the security system of modern cars uses the rolling code protocol to unlock them remotely. This means that each smart car key code can only be used once. If the Flipper Zero were to intercept the signal, it would not matter, because the code cannot be used again.

For the theft to work, the owner's signal must be actively blocked so that it intercepted signal from the Flipper Zero is the 'original signal'. The hardware of the multi-tool alone is not capable of doing this, the co-founder claims. “The Flipper Zero is intended for security testing and development, and we have taken the necessary security measures to ensure that the device cannot be used for malicious purposes.”

The Flipper Zero multi-tool can include RFID and read, write and emulate infrared signals. The device was removed from the American Amazon site in early 2023 because it was allegedly used to illegally clone bank cards. The Flipper Zero is also no longer available in most Dutch and Belgian web shops, although the device is not banned.