"Canada to Ban The Flipper Zero to Stop Surge in Car Thefts"
The Canadian government plans to ban Flipper Zero and similar devices after tagging them as tools thieves can use to steal cars. The Flipper Zero is a portable and programmable pen-testing tool that helps experiment with and debug various hardware and digital devices over multiple protocols, including RFID, radio, NFC, infrared, and Bluetooth. The Canadian government noted that users have been demonstrating Flipper Zero's features in videos shared online since its release, showcasing its capacity to conduct replay attacks to unlock cars, open garage doors, activate doorbells, and clone various digital keys. Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced that the "Canadian government is banning the importation, sale, and use of consumer hacking devices, like flippers, used to commit these crimes." According to the Canadian government, around 90,000 vehicles (or one car every six minutes) are reported stolen every year, with car theft resulting in $1 billion in annual losses, including insurance costs for fixing and replacing stolen cars. While the Canadian government insists that the Flipper Zero is one of the reasons behind the current surge of car thefts in the country, Flipper Devices, the company behind the devices, says the gadget can't be used to steal vehicles built within the last 24 years. The company noted that Flipper Zero couldn't be used to hijack any car, specifically, the ones produced after the 1990s, since their security systems have rolling codes. Amazon has also banned the sale of the Flipper Zero since April 2023 for being a card skimming device after the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency began seizing incoming Flipper Zero purchases in March 2023 due to its alleged use by criminals.