Here is some news that users of SimpliSafe’s latest home security system are not going to like. It looks like it can be fooled by a simple $2 wireless emitter that mimics the frequency of the door and window contact sensors, according to a recent report from The Verge.
This vulnerability came to light via the YouTube channel LockPickingLawyer who posted a video showing how it can be done. That doesn’t sound like what you want if you are looking for the best home security system.
It’s not only cheap but it looks like it is very easy to do. Apparently, SimpliSafe’s sensors communicate with the base on the 433.92MHz frequency. The problem is that this is very popular and crowded frequency since it is used by many other consumer electronics Most of these products aren’t powerful enough to thwart SimpliSafe’s system though. The bad news is that a $2 emitter is powerful enough to do just that.
During normal operation, when these sensors are tripped, the system will start the alarm process. However, a powerful-enough emitter can make it so that the base won’t receive a signal when it should, overriding what the sensor is sending to the base.
However, there are two sides to every story and SimpliSafe has it’s own take on the situation, saying that the base station isn’t really tricked in this way when it comes to wireless interference, elaborating that they should send an alert to your phone when there is interference.
SimpliSafe claims the LockPickingLawyer is showing a very unusual and unlikely scenario. They also say that in real life this would not work as the sensors are spread further apart.
The LockPickingLawyer, on the other hand, says that SimpliSafe made it very easy, as he didn’t have to tune the emitter at all to get it to bypass the alarm system. It worked right out of the box. And as far as SimpliSafe’s claims about the space between the sensors:
“The farthest from the base station I tested was about 60 feet (through two walls), and it worked the same as shown in my video,”
Nevertheless, SimpliSafe says that it plans to address consumers concerns in at least two ways. They plan to fine-tune detection algorithms in order to tell the difference between possible burglars and random interference from other devices. Aside from that, if you are signed up for it, SimpliSafe’s $25-a-month video monitoring service will investigate suspicious interference by checking your home’s cameras.