Many of us feel completely safe in a home protected by an automated security system, but security researchers Logan Lamb and Silvio Cesare found some easily-replicated ways to get past some of the most popular security system brands.
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski
The researchers were actually working on their own in two different countries, but both still landed at the same conclusion: top-selling home alarm systems are easy to work around, so be careful not to rely on these systems and make sure you're smart about other ways to keep your home safe.
Lamb looked at a few of the top brands and found that all of the wireless alarm systems relied on radio frequency signals between sensors at entryways, and that it was possible to intercept the data, decipher the commands, and play them back at will:
"An attacker can walk up to a front door and suppress the alarm as they open the door, do whatever they want within the home and then exfiltrate, and it's like they were never there... All of the systems use different hardware but they are effectively the same, still using these wireless communications from the mid-90s for the actual security."
Cesare, who tested more than a half-a-dozen popular systems in Australia, found an additional vulnerability. He was able to discover the password stored on the devices that is essentially the key to whole system. All of this was done by the two researchers with about $1700 worth of equipment, which is pocket change for any experienced burglar. Before you go rigging your home with booby traps Home Alone-style, keep in mind that protecting your home from skilled thieves doesn't have to be expensive or difficult.