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$20 'Toy' Deactivates Cheap Home Alarms, Opens Doors

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the don't-come-in-or-i'll-beep-at-you dept.

Security 153

mask.of.sanity writes "Cheap home alarms, door opening systems and wireless mains switches can be bypassed with low-cost and home-made devices that can replicate their infrared signals. Fixed-code radio frequency systems could be attacked using a $20 'toy', or using basic DIY componentry. Quoting: 'Criminals might be able to capture IR signals if they can get a line of sight to when the system is being armed or disarmed. If a criminal knows what type of alarm system you're using then they could do what we did here and reverse it for cloning a remote. A more likely scenario is just to buy a duplicate system and use that remote. Not all IR remotes can be switched from the same system. It depends on whether a code is being transmitted and how many variations of the code and remote exist. In the system described in this post, there is no code, just a carrier signal. If a code is being transmitted, then the Infrared toy can capture it and replay it. So that's your best bet for a criminal looking at a completely unknown remote.'"

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153 comments

Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (3, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | about 7 months ago | (#44840061)

So can many universal remotes, so can a computer, so can anything else.

This is almost as silly as the "access to an unencrypted disk is access to your data!!!!!" story from a few days ago.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840163)

So can many universal remotes, so can a computer, so can anything else....

Of course the very first thing the article covers is universal remotes and how they didn't work.
Perhaps, in the future, you should RTFA before commenting.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 7 months ago | (#44840581)

But he completly ommited the WHY they didn't work.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (4, Insightful)

RoboRay (735839) | about 7 months ago | (#44841519)

Cheap universal remotes have limited frequency bands and can only manage capture and send short signals (discrete keys, say, instead of macros).

Good (and expensive, of course) universal remotes do not have these limits and would work fine.

The writer erroneously made a definitive statement based on a single data point.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841053)

Some remote such as the All-in-one along with the "JP1" interface and 3rd party software allows you to get very low level access to the IR signals.
e.g. carrier frequency, duty cycle, actual timing of the '0' & '1' signals and actual bit encoding.

So generating just the carrier signal can be done by setting both '0' & '1' to just outputting the carrier.

I have programmed the IR signal from my Chinese clone xbox remote captured from logic analyzer. The IR learning doesn't work was the IR protocol was completely proprietary. I even changed the bit timing as there was a design flaw with the pulse being too short and now my remote works better than the original. I also found a mis-coded button in the process.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (1)

RoboRay (735839) | about 7 months ago | (#44841501)

He used the wrong universal remote. Rather than saying "a learning remote doesn't seem to learn the signal" he should have said "the one cheap learning remote with limited capabilities that I tested doesn't seem to learn the signal."

If you use a capable, programmable remote that can capture very long strings of signals across very wide frequency bands (like my trusty old Pronto TSU-7000), it could work as well (or maybe even better) than that toy.

Of course, since the toy is a far, far cheaper solution, use that.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (4, Insightful)

Xicor (2738029) | about 7 months ago | (#44840165)

it is a big deal because unlike a universal remote, security systems are supposed to be, well, secure. you shouldnt be able to hack a security system with a 20$ toy.

How long before... (1)

popo (107611) | about 7 months ago | (#44840393)

How long before there's an "app for that"?

Re:How long before... (4, Informative)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 7 months ago | (#44840435)

Had one years ago for my I-Paq which was great fun in banks & airports for changing the settings on the aircon :D

For the younger readers I-Paq is nothing to do with Apple :)

Re:How long before... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#44840949)

About negative one decade. I was doing this with my Treo 180 and OmniRemote. Worked great for university AC systems where they kept the remotes in a central office.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (4, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#44840427)

it is a big deal because unlike a universal remote, security systems are supposed to be, well, secure. you shouldnt be able to hack a security system with a 20$ toy.

If your "security" system cost $8 like the one they hacked, you probably got what you paid for. I doubt that anyone is using this kind of thing to secure anything of importance. Most are probably sold as a novelty or to keep roommates out of your stuff, sort of. They say there are also IR door keys that are also hacked similarly, but I don't see examples in TFAs. And I've never seen an IR door key in actual use, not that my experience is definitive.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (3, Funny)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#44840787)

If your insurance company asks if you have a security system and you say "yes" because you spent $8 on one, is that fraud?

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#44840963)

My insurance company specifies that it must be a monitored alarm, and I have to sign an affidavit to that effect.

Re: Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841001)

I wouldn't doubt it one bit. Surely you know what people are like by now. Your regular idiot sees an $8 security system and instead of seeing a cheap, flawed piece of junk, they see an amazing bargain.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about 7 months ago | (#44841563)

yea but think about all those systems that use apps to control them from anywhere. what happens when someone finds a way to make those unsecure?

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (2)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#44841449)

Home "security systems" like those installed by ADT and Comcast are not actually meant to be secure, they're just meant to make home owners feel better. Actual security systems (which I work with) are fairly intrusive into one's day to day life and are VERY expensive to install, configure and maintain correctly. Think $5,000-$30,000 to do a basic install with decent quality hardware/software.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841487)

no real security system uses a frickin IR remote control.

There is a fancy new technology called "radio" that they use.

That can also be jammed, but not typically spoofed to allow disarm.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841675)

it is a big deal because unlike a universal remote, security systems are supposed to be, well, secure. you shouldnt be able to hack a security system with a 20$ toy.

Yeah, a $5 wrench should be sufficient for most homes.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (1)

paskie (539112) | about 7 months ago | (#44840955)

Indeed. I'm just waiting how long for a firmware for TV-B-GONE. :-) That should be reasonably trivial?

In related news, researchers show that cheap door can be kicked down.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (1)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#44841141)

Definitely not new. Back in the '90s, my mom was looking into (as in she had some samples and had me look at them) selling crap personal security devices by some company called "Quantum" (hooray multi-level marketing) built around a really loud noisemaker, such as a "grenade pin" alarm in case of a purse snatcher.

One was a "car alarm" which was basically a sonar motion detector that you put up on your dashboard when leaving the car. The idea was that you had an IR remote to control it, and could enable and disable it through the window. The only problem was that it only used one code to talk to the unit, selectable from a total of 16. Learning remotes are NOT new (we had one in the early '80s!), and all you would have to do is learn all 16 codes into one remote and try them all. (What, you actually thought they'd take the time to make it go off if it saw one of the other 15 codes?) Assuming, of course, that you could actually find someone using this POS as an alarm, and assuming you wouldn't just stomp it into the ground when it went off.

Re:Ok? How is this new, or a big deal? (1)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#44841267)

FWIW, TFA may have had problems learning the code because his learning remote was too modern and was attempting to decode a known frame format, and the alarm remote was just a cheap stupid transistor thingy, even cheaper than the Quantum piece of shit. The learning remote from the '80s just watched the blinkenlights and copied them directly.

Garage Door Terrorist! (2)

coinreturn (617535) | about 7 months ago | (#44840081)

Does anybody's garage door still use some fixed code remote? Come on. This is not 1960.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#44840357)

My alarm dates from 1060 - a flock of geese!

(very difficult to spoof...)

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 7 months ago | (#44840363)

Quite a few are still in service. The rolling code systems didn't come out until the mid 90s.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 7 months ago | (#44840509)

Quite a few are still in service. The rolling code systems didn't come out until the mid 90s.

I don't know if you're a garage-door guy or something, but my experience with the controller boards is that they do not last anywhere near 20 years.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#44840567)

Quite a few are still in service. The rolling code systems didn't come out until the mid 90s.

I don't know if you're a garage-door guy or something, but my experience with the controller boards is that they do not last anywhere near 20 years.

Your experience has holes in it, then. Installed 1992. Still in use. The only maintenance required has been to de-oxidize the contacts on the manual switch.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 7 months ago | (#44840959)

The difference is you actually maintained/repaired it. Usually that would have been thrown out.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 7 months ago | (#44841655)

Wow, your experience differs from mine! Who would have thought such a thing? I've had multiple boards go bad (capacitor failures, fried electronics).

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#44840809)

Quite a few are still in service. The rolling code systems didn't come out until the mid 90s.

I don't know if you're a garage-door guy or something, but my experience with the controller boards is that they do not last anywhere near 20 years.

I've lived in 3 houses with 20+ year old garage door controllers. Those old partless wonders last forever in my experience. My current one doesn't even have any kind of forced reversing feature or IR obstruction detectors. Total death trap.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#44841005)

Mine has to be at least that old. The remote is brown plastic, for goodness sakes. My mother-in-law's is even older. 20 years old doesn't seem that old anymore when you are middle aged :) My air conditioner is from 1984, but sadly I must retire it as R-22 is too damn expensive now.

Re:Garage Door Terrorist! (1)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#44841475)

We just replaced our garage door two years ago, and the opener with it. It had the original installers' sticker on it, dated 1976.

Keys are copyable?! (5, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#44840089)

Say it isn't so!!! Someone made a copy of my keys from a wax mould. So I got an electronic lock. So now that is vulnerable too?! Say it isn't so!!

I'm sorry, but if you want to secure a transmitted signal, then SECURE IT. Signals which are one-way only are weak by definition. Instead, there should be work done on systems which require an encrypted signal started by the key device and received by the lock which returns with a reply to the key device which acknowledges the reply.

And yes, even THAT can be replicated... it's just harder. But the rule is that which can be locked can be unlocked. It's a question of complication.

Re:Keys are copyable?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840349)

You want the lock to securely verify the key, not the other way round. It is very unlikely that an attacker builds a lock which can be opened by your key. He more likely will want to make a key which opens your lock.

If you use public key cryptography with the private key stored in the key device, there's no way an attacker could clone your key device without getting hold of it.

Re:Keys are copyable?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841021)

Exactly, you want your key to "initiate", have the "lock" to transmit a random challenge, sign that in your "key" and send it back to the "lock".

Re:Keys are copyable?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841227)

You want the lock to securely verify the key, not the other way round.

No, you want BOTH. Because you don;t want your key blabbing the passphrase to a counterfeit lock, that records the passphrase and replays it to your lock, which then opens.

Say it isn't true! (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 7 months ago | (#44840111)

Holy crap! That is amazing! Who made this wonderful discovery, surely they must be nominated for some sort of prize. Oh, wait, everything with even the slightest bit of security uses rolling codes. Oh well.

Nothing to see here (1)

guytoronto (956941) | about 7 months ago | (#44840193)

Anyone who buys one of those cheap alarm systems probably doesn't have anything worth stealing anyway.

Goodness (5, Funny)

Drewdad (1738014) | about 7 months ago | (#44840205)

It's almost as if the security company is selling the appearance of security instead of actual security. Surely, they wouldn't be so mercenary.

Society (3, Insightful)

stooo (2202012) | about 7 months ago | (#44840305)

It's almost as if the security society is selling the appearance of security instead of actual security. Surely, they wouldn't be so mercenary.

Re:Goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840693)

It's almost as if the security company is selling the appearance of security instead of actual security. Surely, they wouldn't be so mercenary.

They're just playing along with the "free market" for self enrichment. Probably vote Republicrat or Demican too....

Re:Goodness (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 months ago | (#44841621)

It's almost as if the security company is selling the appearance of security instead of actual security. Surely, they wouldn't be so mercenary.

Is it mercenary if they contracted the TSA to construct the system for them?

From the fixed-key-doors-are-dumb dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840227)

If your door comes with a hardcoded key that is the same for all doors from that company, some people will be able to unlock that door.

Alert the internets !

You can also deactive them with.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840237)

You can also deactivate them with a $5 hammer. Or by pulling them off the wall and dropping them on the floor below.

Re:You can also deactive them with.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840541)

You can also deactivate them with a $5 hammer. Or by pulling them off the wall and dropping them on the floor below.

If you can even get to the place (or, in the case of an alarm system, get to the place without triggering the alarm), the device already failed to fulfil its purpose, and therefore it doesn't matter if you physically destroy it.

Re:You can also deactive them with.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841601)

If you can even get to the place (or, in the case of an alarm system, get to the place without triggering the alarm), the device already failed to fulfil its purpose, and therefore it doesn't matter if you physically destroy it.

The devices are just noise makers and don't serve a purpose to begin with. Your level one sarcasm detector has failed.

TV remotes (2)

fermion (181285) | about 7 months ago | (#44840247)

For many years I have been able to buy TV remotes that work with any brand TV. My first universal remote was programmed in exactly this way, but copying the signal from the original remote. Now we have remotes that have a database of signals built in and you just punch in the signal.

It seems to me that there is a finite number of signals any security manufacturer will use, just like there are a finite number of 4 or six digit codes. The difference is that while a human may only be able to try 10 codes a minute on a keypad, a scanner should be able to increase that rate by a factor of 5. Thus a criminal could sit in a car across the street for 20 minutes and check 1000 codes to see if they can disarm the alarm. Or pretend to be delivering a package, leave the device there, and come back when in an hour to see if the house have been left insecure.

As an aside, many years ago when automatic garage doors became popular, and IR or radio transmitters were not cheap, I am told that they worked off car horns. The story goes that teens would drive down the street at night, honking their horns, to watch the garage doors go up. Security is always a compromise between convenience and actual security. The former does tend to win out.

Re:TV remotes (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 7 months ago | (#44840475)

Maybe so, but there is no technical reason not to use a long key. The bit rate is more than 100 bits per second IIRC, so a 64-bit key would work without being inconvenient. It would obviously take a long while to brute force that.

By the way for anyone interested in starting out with digital electronics and micro controllers, making a an IR-lock and a key (and then a key sniffer for extra credit) is a good first project in terms of difficulty. You could start with an old remote as the key for the first iteration.

Re:TV remotes (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 7 months ago | (#44841707)

So have the security system limit attempts. As soon as it detects that it’s being code-spammed, it stops listening for some amount of time. Rinse and repeat. The criminal’s device won’t know that the system isn’t listening, so it will consider all the codes it sent during that time as incorrect.

Re:TV remotes (1)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#44841721)

A good system will throw an alert after too many (>5 or so) access failures. Any adequately monitored system would see your first dozen or so failed attempts and have someone cruise by to see what is going on. Having said that, these are home systems, which are faulty by design. The only homes that get actual security are those of people like Warren Buffet, who can afford to cough up >$50,000 on a system, and pay decently trained staff to monitor it. There's an enormous gap between the two extremes.

How common is IR arming remotes? (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#44840255)

My home alarm system is almost a decade old. It is armed with a dial pad on egress door usually. It has one arm/disarm remote in the second floor. But it is not IR. It is RF, similar to garage door opener. It has rolling codes. Wondering how common is the IR disarming remotes for home security.

But I am more worried about the garage door openers coming with cars. They have usually three buttons in the rear view mirror. You hold the regular garage door open close to it and operate the door two or three times. Somehow the car gets not only the code but also the "rolling codes" and becomes a new duplicate garage door opener. Wondering what kind of security has been implemented there. If I use a sophisticated and powerful radio receiver to capture the code transmitted by the garage door opener two or three times, would it be enough to get the rolling code algorithm?

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (1)

swaq (989895) | about 7 months ago | (#44840455)

My car has HomeLink in the mirror. I believe in order to learn the code the remote needs to be close to the mirror (though I didn't test from further away). For rolling codes, I had to capture several button presses in a row (about 5 times, if I recall correctly). I'm pretty sure the captures need to be sequential to learn the rolling code.

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#44840565)

From what I could make out from wiki ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_code [wikipedia.org] ), looks like the password is 16bits, it is encrypted with a 32 bit pattern. Thinking back, to make the car "learn" the garage door, you need to put the door opener in the "synch" mode or "learn" mode first. Then the first key press transmitts the random seed value. Both the car and the door opener intercepts this seed value. That is how the car is able to become an authorized transmitter. It further needs a few more key presses for it to guess the rolling algorithm. So if the first key press that sets the seed value is not intercepted, then subsequent transmissions are relatively safe. But still, it is just a 32 bit encryption. NSA will break it in 2 milli seconds. Local hoodlum might take a few seconds.

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (2)

chihowa (366380) | about 7 months ago | (#44840853)

Well, according to this [kuleuven.be], it would take a small compute cluster and 2-3 days to crack after capturing 65 minutes of solid transmissions. So, not terribly secure, but good enough for a medium with such a low transmission rate. The thief would need physical access to the transmitter (and a fresh set of batteries for it) and couldn't rely on incidental intercepts.

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (1)

swaq (989895) | about 7 months ago | (#44840977)

Ah, that's right. I recall having to push some button on the garage door receiver and then do the learning sequence within a certain number of seconds (30?).

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840485)

This.

I have NEVER seen an alarm system that uses IR.

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840487)

They are super common when you buy your "alarm system" at the dollar store.

This entire story is a farce.

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841679)

Hey, many top tier jewelry stores and banks use these sorts of alarm systems!!! One time I was on a tiger team which broke into and used a similar method to defeat the alarm. We were then able to gain access and steal ice cream from my parents freezer!

DONT FRICKEN DOWNPLAY THIS SECURITY VULNERABILITY YOU NSA HACK!!!

Re:How common is IR arming remotes? (1)

BcNexus (826974) | about 7 months ago | (#44840619)

The answer to this---IIRC-- from what I read is that a universal garage door opener rolls through the codes until it gets to one that works. It can do that if it knows where to start, and it does know where to start because the user sent it a seed signal from the OEM opener.

It's like modulo arithmetic, I think: go far enough and you loop around to the same answer, or at least an answer. In this case, the answer is a code that works.

I'd post a link to the Wikipedia article that I read sometime ago explaining this, but I'm too lazy. More importantly, the link to rolling codes is already in the Slashdot summary so I'm sure you can get to the page explaining universal garage door openers and rolling codes from there easily (and the ensuing lawsuits from garage door manufacturers against the universal remote manufacturers).

Edit
This might be relevant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chamberlain_Group,_Inc._v._Skylink_Technologies,_Inc. [wikipedia.org]

Make one which is less cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840307)

So my alarm which is activated by NFC should emit an IR and RF signal, then listen for those signals being sent by someone who is trying to turn it off.

Re:Make one which is less cheap (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 months ago | (#44841719)

My thoughts exactly... have your alarm system send off sentinel signals, and go off immediately when it gets the appropriate response.

The only serious alarm systems I've ever used were wired (unless they used the phone system, at which point a cordless phone could also activate/deactivate them).

Best one I ever saw used a modified asterisk system.

God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840331)

Many are in denial. It will take time.

Virtual-Notary.Org hereby notes that on
    Date: Friday September 13, 2013 10:13.13 EDT (UTC-0400)

a random drawing in the range [1, 100000], inclusive, based on
a hardware source of true randomness, yielded the following decision.

    Random Value: 57698
----
6:11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be
wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be
utterly desolate, 6:12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and
there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

6:13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be
eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when
they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance
thereof.

7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son
of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the
son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war
against it, but could not prevail against it.

7:2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate
with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as
the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou,
and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool
in the highway of the fuller's field; 7:4 And say unto him, Take heed,
and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of
these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria,
and of the son of Remaliah.

Dependance on electronics is always a fail (1)

LeepII (946831) | about 7 months ago | (#44840377)

20+ years of owning big dogs. I've lived in several "rough" neighborhoods and I have never had anyone try to break in. A German Shepard's bark is far more effective than any form of electronic protection.

Re:Dependance on electronics is always a fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840421)

Until the burglar starts feeding the dogs drugged steaks...

Re:Dependance on electronics is always a fail (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#44840623)

Until the burglar starts feeding the dogs drugged steaks...

Ya. When my wife was my girlfriend, her neighbor had a pit bull. Dog was very protective of the neighbor's house -- and gf's house too, the dog really liked her. Then someone poisoned the dog. Next week, neighbor's lawnmower got stolen. That mower probably cost less than the pup did, and was certainly not the friend and companion the dog was, either. Just sickening. I was horrified and disgusted.

Re:Dependance on electronics is always a fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840765)

Or a gun. A dog isn't stopping someone that really wants in.

Re:Dependance on electronics is always a fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840551)

Really? A cheap electronic device could bark too ;).

The seek, attack and bite part is harder to replicate.

Re:Dependance on electronics is always a fail (1)

kevinT (14723) | about 7 months ago | (#44841355)

Having a big dog and a sign that says - Forget the dog, beware of owner -

Re:Dependance on electronics is always a fail (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#44841357)

20+ years of owning big dogs. I've lived in several "rough" neighborhoods and I have never had anyone try to break in. A German Shepard's bark is far more effective than any form of electronic protection.

The best security system you can have is a dog, You have a lot of what if replies but it's a known fact. Nobody gets close to my place
without my dog letting me know, he also does this without being a nuisance.

Security companies also make more money than one would think just selling signs or decals claiming a home alarm is installed for those
with or without pets.

Laser pointers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840395)

Even easier: A cheap laser pointer will set off an infrared motion detector. Just repeatedly trigger the alarm until the homeowner shuts it off.

Solution to this... (1)

hlavac (914630) | about 7 months ago | (#44840399)

And the solution to this is, of course, to ban DIY electronics right? These are IEDs, Improvised Electronic Devices they are making! Terrorists! To Guantanamo with them!

Very Easy to do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840417)

I built a garage door opener that would cycle through every switch combination of the unit type he installed. This was so he could do maintenance and repair with out have to have them leave thier remote.

D

That's not a "home security system". (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about 7 months ago | (#44840429)

That's not a "consumer grade home security system". It's a motion sensor alarm. A cheap, pitiful motion sensor alarm. That a $7.80 alarm doesn't use a sophisticated or even up-to-date remote shouldn't be a surprise to anyone

Re:That's not a "home security system". (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#44841203)

That's not a "consumer grade home security system". It's a motion sensor alarm. A cheap, pitiful motion sensor alarm. That a $7.80 alarm doesn't use a sophisticated or even up-to-date remote shouldn't be a surprise to anyone

Yes, something someone would take with them on a trip. a take along security system. How many people you think are going to be waiting for
them to record their code :}

I own one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840571)

I actually own one of these. Given the price I paid for it - I fully expected the IR to be more or less useless in terms of security. A few weeks after I replaced the whole thing with a custom solution, merely reusing the box.

Big name players (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840615)

The big name players in the US install really crappy wireless security systems, so they can advertise "$99"s installed. Of course those systems suck primary because the batteries die in the sensors.

Of course those are the same companies charging $50 for "monitoring" over POTS and even more if you want a cell or IP based system.

Frankly, it doesn't take much shopping to find companies that will install hard wired systems with POTS and cell backup for the same amount of money and monitor it for under $25 a month.

Either way, these security systems are fairly easy bypassed by a motivated thief simply by cutting the phone and cable connections, then using a cell phone jammer to keep the system from calling home. Then as most places no long allow external sirens the thief can usually silence the alarm in a matter of a few tens of seconds.

Finally, the truth of the matter is that simply putting a sign in your yard with the name of a popular security system monitoring agency gives you basically the same security as actually paying for a security system.

Re:Big name players (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44840767)

Either way, these security systems are fairly easy bypassed by a motivated thief simply by cutting the phone and cable connections, then using a cell phone jammer to keep the system from calling home.

That can be easily circumvented by an external (that is, outside of your home) device which permanently pings your home router and gives an alarm if it is no longer reachable.

Re:Big name players (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 7 months ago | (#44841365)

The false alarms would go through the roof if you have either crappy internet service or a crappy power grid (or, if you're lucky enough to live in SW Florida, BOTH!)

Where did we see this? (1)

houbou (1097327) | about 7 months ago | (#44840685)

Burn Notice? :)

Re:Where did we see this? (2)

The-Ixian (168184) | about 7 months ago | (#44841527)

When you're a spy, you need to learn that sometimes, the easiest way to foil a security system is with an Infrared transmitter. A $20 toy from your local toy store will work just fine.

Toys hacking toys (1)

LeonPierre (305002) | about 7 months ago | (#44840931)

I can't think of any security systems that are actually listed and labeled as security systems that use infrared technology to operate.

Their "security system" is an eBay purchase for $8 AU is hardly worth calling a "security system"

This is in the same level as if I said I picked a 20 cent "lock" that uses a single tumbler with a 2 cent paperclip. That lock provides no real security in the same manner as their eBay security system.

There is a reason independent labs test, list, and label security systems. And even then, everyone who understand security understand security comes in layers.

Re:Toys hacking toys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841595)

Actually, they managed to beat the $8 lock with a device costing more than twice as much. So it's closer to picking that 20 cent lock with a 40 cent pick.

Mostly BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841103)

After reading the linked articles it becomes obvious this is a panic blog. The security systems mentioned are nothing more then cheap crap that anyone with half a brain would not buy.
Real security systems used remotes that are programmed into the system via individual serial numbers per device. These devices also have limited range. So not only do you have to actually find the frequency it works on but also the device ID code which is also encrypted.

Not enough buzzwords (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841461)

Can we add 3D printing and "maker" somehow to this story?

Re:Not enough buzzwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44841713)

Only if it works via the Cloud!

So? (3, Informative)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about 7 months ago | (#44841483)

They could go through all this trouble to try and capture your code, defeat your security system.. Or, they could go to one of the other hundreds of thousands of houses in the country that have no security system whatsoever. You want to keep a burglar at bay? Get a dog with a mean sounding bark.
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