Canada is moving to ban the Flipper Zero, blaming the toy-like security testing device for fueling car thefts in the country.
Canada’s Minister Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne announced the ban on Thursday, explaining that “criminals have been using sophisticated tools to steal cars. And Canadians are rightfully worried.”
“Today, I announced we are banning the importation, sale and use of consumer hacking devices, like flippers, used to commit these crimes,” he tweeted.
The Canadian government adds that the country is “pursuing all avenues to ban devices used to steal vehicles by copying the wireless signals for remote keyless entry, such as the Flipper Zero.” Currently, the country is losing about 90,000 vehicles to car theft per year.
It’s true that the $169 Flipper Zero can be used to disrupt some devices, thanks to its ability to emulate radio frequency identification. For example, in December, Apple patched a bug that allowed a modified version of the tool to flood iPhones with pop-up messages. However, the maker of the Flipper Zero says Canada’s ban is misguided when it comes to protecting cars from cyber threats.