Smart devices are becoming more and more popular with the advances in technology, one of the bigger companies being Ring. As a curious user, I was wondering if it was possible for a Ring Alarm system to be hacked. I did some research and this is what I have found.
Can Ring Alarm be hacked? It is possible for Ring Alarm to be hacked, but it is not common. Ring Alarm is connected to the user’s WiFi, and can also be paired to smart devices through Bluetooth. This makes it possible for hackers to manipulate the alarm device through other connections. This is unlikely.
If you are interested in learning more about Ring Alarms, how people can hack into your Ring Alarm, information on Ring’s past with hacking, and more keep reading.
What is Ring Alarm?
The Ring Alarm is a relatively new product released by Ring, being shipped out for the first time less than a year ago on July 4, 2018. So many people may be wondering, what even is a Ring Alarm?
The Ring Alarm is a whole security system that can be set apart from the others with its unique DIY (Do It Yourself) setup system. You don’t need a professional to come in and install the home security system, Ring sends you what you need and you set it up how you want with the features you want. Ring describes it as:
“A smarter way to add protection,safety and peace of mind to your home. Easy DIY installation and customizable tofit any home. Plus, get an extra layer ofsecurity with 24/7 professional monitoring.”Ring.com
The whole security system is wireless, meaning it is hooked up through WiFi and can be controlled and viewed from your smartphone via Bluetooth and the Ring app.
Ring is owned by Amazon, which means you can connect your alarm system to Amazon’s Alexa and arm it in 3 different modes. You can even disarm your Ring Alarm through Alexa by saying “Alexa, disarm ring.”
She will then ask for a four-digit protection code that you previously set up. After giving her the code she will disarm the Ring Alarm.
What Comes in the Ring Alarm Security Kits?
The first thing it comes with is the Base Station. This is the main component of your security system and acts as the “brain” of the whole system. This is the part that keeps your alarm system on and all the pieces connected to your smartphone. It also has a siren in it, so if it thinks there is an intruder it will blare the siren.
The next thing it comes with is the Ring Keypad. The keypad is the manual way to arm and disarm your security system, and can be used if you don’t have your mobile device around. It can either be mounted to the wall or used as a portable keypad.
Next is the Contact sensors. These are used to alert you if any doors or windows are open. It works by being installed in the frame of any door or window, and from there it will be able to tell if they are open or closed. An alert will be sent to your paired mobile device if any are opened.
Next, it includes a motion sensor. This will send you an alert if there is any motion detected in your house. It has an advanced system which filters out motion from pets to eliminate false alarms.
Lastly, it includes a range extender. This is used more for larger homes, as it will allow the signal from the base station to have a larger range, making it so you can have more sensors, further away.
There are four kits that you can purchase based on your security needs. I will provide a link to where you can purchase them below.
- Alarm Security System, 5-piece
- Base Station
- Contact Sensor
- Motion Detector
- Range Extender
- Alarm Security System, 10-piece
- Base Station
- 5 Contact Sensors
- 2 Motion Detectors
- Range Extender
- Alarm Security System, 14-piece
- Base Station
- 2 Keypads
- 8 Contact Sensors
- 2 Motion Detectors
- Range Extender
4 Ways People Can Hack Into Your Ring Alarm
The Ring Alarm was released less than a year ago, and since then there have been no reported hacks into the Ring Alarm System that I have been able to find, but just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t or can’t be hacked.
Wireless alarm systems are still fairly new and are vulnerable to cyber and physical hackers. I found that there were s
#1 Malware attacks
The first way someone can hack your Ring Alarm is by a malware attack.
Comodo defines a malware attack as “…a type of cyber attack in which malware or malicious software performs activities on the victim’s computer system, usually without his/her knowledge.”
Because the Ring Alarm is hooked to your WiFi or internet, a hacker could potentially infect it with a virus causing it to shut down or not work properly.
#2 Signal Interception
Another way that hackers can mess with your Ring Alarm system is through signal interception. This can easily be done when you have a device hooked up to Bluetooth or wifi, which your Ring Alarm is.
“In 2014, security researchers demonstrated that intrepid hackers could easily monitor several popular professionally installed home security systems.
Using cheap SDR devices — software-defined radios that are essentially TV-tuner dongles plugged into laptops — they could capture unencrypted transmissions from alarm sensors and control pads. Once those signals were captured, the hackers could easily use them to direct the home security systems.”Sarah Brown
Wireless alarms can be jammed which prevents alarm signals from getting through, basically making your alarm system usless.
Pen Test Partners ran a test against Grade 2 wireless alarm systems, which are the highest grade wireless alarm systems available for purchase in the UK, and found that it is possible for them to be jammed.
The same principle goes for the Ring Alarm and can potentially be hacked.
#4 Physical Tampering
The Ring Alarm is all self-installed, which means it isn’t as securely in place as those that are professionally installed.
Pieces of the alarm system, especially those that are placed outside can be stolen or tampered with making them not work.
All these don’t only apply to the Ring Alarm system, but almost any popular wireless alarm system. These are also only a few of the ways that hackers can manipulate alarm systems, so always be aware of what’s happening.
How to Prevent Hacks Into Your Ring Alarm
There are several precautions to take to prevent your Ring Alarm from being hacked. It is pretty much impossible to predict when or if your Ring Alarm will be hacked, and it’s something nobody plans on.
There are numerous ways an alarm system can be hacked, so how do you prepare for all of them? The answer is you really can’t, but there are ways to be more prepared.
When you arm your Ring Alarm, make sure it is actually armed.
You can do this by checking to make sure everything is working properly. Try opening a door and make sure you get a notification. You can also run weekly or monthly checks in which you arm your alarm and go into the house and make sure everything goes off.
If you notice something isn’t working contact your alarm company immediately.
If a component of your alarm system isn’t working it is best to call Ring support and let them know. They can either remotely check on it, walk you through what to do, or have someone come in to check it out.
It is better to be safe rather than sorry, so even if you aren’t sure, it is always best to call Ring and ask for support.
Make sure all your components, especially the contact sensors are securely in place.
These are the easiest to tamper with or steal, so when you install them, make sure they are firmly in place and going to be difficult to remove. It would also be a good idea to check to make sure they are still there at least once a week.
Change your passcode at least twice a year.
This is generally a good idea for anything. The longer you have a password or passcode, the easier it is for criminals to be able to hack into it, whether it be from the worn numbers on the keypad, or word just getting around.
Just make sure you remember what you change the passcode to, and make it more complex than “1234” or “0000” as these are the first passcodes criminals will guess.
Get an extra protection plan with your Ring Alarm
Ring Alarm offers a 24/7 professional monitoring plan for $10 a month. Which includes cellular backup if your WiFi or internet goes out, and unlimited video recording for any Ring cameras or doorbells that you have. This provides more protection than just the basic system and will help be able to combat hacking.
Always be safe and smart with how you run your Ring Alarm, and be aware of anything that could happen.
What To Do if You Think Your Ring Alarm is Being Hacked
If you realize that your Ring Alarm isn’t working or isn’t doing what it is supposed to do there are a few measures you can take.
First, check to make sure everything is working properly. You could just have a dead battery in one of your products, or something could’ve been set up incorrectly causing it to not work right.
If that isn’t the case, contact Ring and talk to them about the problem. I will put a link to the Ring support page here.
They may be able to figure out what is wrong and tell you if it is a problem with the system that can be fixed or something to be worried about.
If you fix what they tell you to fix, and the problem is reoccurring contact them again and let them know. They can send somebody to check out the problem.
If you are ever scared or think you are in danger, contact local authorities immediatley. Your safety comes first so it is always to be safe rather than sorry when dealing with this sort of thing.
If someone is hacking your system, get the authorities on the case and have them check out what is going on. They will be able to help debunk the problem and find out who is messing with your security system.
Other Ring Products That Have Been Hacked
Ring has a history of its products being hacked, which is why we know it is possible for Ring products to be hacked.
The major product that has a history of being hacked is the Ring Camera Doorbell, in many ways.
One of the first ways the Ring Doorbell was hacked, is through people being able to hack into the camera and video footage. There have been reports of the video being hacked into.
Protect America did a story on one of the incidents, saying:
“Miami resident, Jesus Echezarreta, revealed that he was secretly being spied on by his ex-boyfriend through Ring, as reported by The Information. Although he had changed his login information, Echezarreta complained to Ring that something weird had been occurring.
After reviewing his account, Ring was able to determine that someone had been continuously ringing and downloading video from his doorbell since August when Echezarreta broke up with his boyfriend. Echezarreta was eventually able to determine who it was when his ex mentioned that he should walk his dog more.
He confessed and apologized to Echezarreta and Ring sent him a new doorbell, assuming he still wants to use the product.”Protect America
This brought outrage among the community, leaving many people feeling exposed and unsafe.
Another way it was hacked was by physically manipulating it, people were able to access the owner’s WiFi information and passwords. Ring has since addressed and fixed the problems.
Ring Alarm is still a fairly new product, so many of the hacks and glitches are yet to be exposed. So is Ring trustworthy? That’s for you to decide. Ring has always been good about addressing and fixing problems in a timely manner just be aware.
Does Ring Alarm cost monthly? Ring Alarm does have a monthly fee. You can either pay $30 a year, or $3 a month per device. They also have optional features that you can subscribe to for a monthly fee, such as 24/7 monitored protection for $10 a month, or $100 a year.
How long does the Ring Keypad battery last? The Ring Keypad’s battery can last up to 12 months in power saver mode without being plugged in. The battery is rechargeable so if it does die, you can just plug it in and charge it.
Does Ring Alarm still work if the WiFi or power goes out? The Ring Alarm has a backup battery that lasts for 24-hours that will kick in if power to the Alarm is cut off. Smartphone control will not work if WiFi or Bluetooth gets cut off unless you have cellular backup through the Ring Protect Plus Plan.