Hacking and Simplisafe: is it Cyber-Secure?

Home security is something that we are constantly striving to accomplish. I was curious as to how Simplisafe could help protect my home because I need my safe haven. Luckily, with some research, I have been able to find some information that I have been wanting to share.

Is Simplisafe cyber -secure against hacking? Simplisafe has been the victim of hacking. There are many instances where this has happened, but due to new encryption codes, that shouldn’t be the case anymore. At one point they weren’t cyber secure, so they were in danger of being hacked.

Hearing that this product hasn’t always been secure can be a bit startling to some of those who are looking into this device, or even already own it. But do not fear, down below is more information on this device, the incidents, and how to fix it.

Is Simplisafe Cyber-Secure?

Security is something that we are all consistently trying to seek, this website has certainly tried its best to keep you informed of the best security systems for your home, and this is no exception. When it comes to being hacked, there have been a few instances with the SS and the SS2 versions of the alarm system.

The incident first occurred in 2016 where 300,000 people were being protected by this security device, but they were informed that there was a way that people could remotely disable their systems without even getting close.

An article was published about how this happened which caused a ripple effect on consumers.

This was considered an “unfixable” problem, and when approached, Simplisafe definitely downplayed the whole problem by stating:

“While any wireless system is susceptible to this type of attack from a sufficiently savvy and motivated intruder, our systems can be backed up with with a landline or an internet connection for no additional cost. Also, this type of attack represents such a small percentage of total break-ins that the FBI does not even keep a count.

This is because the majority of break-ins are a quick forced entry and not the sophisticated type of attack that requires diligent planning as well as highly illegal and cost-prohibitive equipment.

Assuming an intruder has the requisite technology, he would need to know the frequency ranges he needs to jam, and also know the layout of your home beforehand, as he would have to avoid motion detectors even in the unlikely event that he bypassed a door sensor.”

Due to the concern that was broadcasted across consumers, the company began to work and continue to strive to make their systems safe and secure. In 2018, Simplisafe announced their SS3 which included encrypted signals that wouldn’t be able to be tracked of interfered with.

Why Encryption?

We’ve heard about encryption before, but what’s the big deal, and can it really help protect me from hackers and those who want to compromise my safety? When reporting on the SS3, we have been told that neither the pin or the signal would be able to be taken over when you’ve disarmed the system.

One of the ways that they have made this possible is by being able to set up the security system not only on WiFi but on cell phones as well.

They are able to connect to mobile networks and maintain their signal if something was to happen to the power in your home, which is something that is incredible.

The company has come out and said that their signals are encrypted and that they will say that over and over again, but they will keep the secrets safe, as they should, so that information like before doesn’t get leaked and cause problems among their consumers.

With the hacking issue, they said that this was a problem that should’ve been resolved before they even got to the final production, but due to an overlooked detail, that issue had made it into the final product.

They apologize to all those who don’t have the encrypted system, and the only thing that they offered to do was offer the new system at its retail price.

Encryption is important because you are able to protect files and information that you don’t want to get out. This is why they have switched over to encrypting the system.

They want to be sure that you trust your home will be safe. They aren’t acknowledging the previous problem with the system simply because there’s always a way for something to go wrong when you’re working with a security system.

The ‘How to’ Article

As mentioned before, there was an article that was produced in which a man by the name of Andrew Zonenberg, showed how he could hack into the current version of the SS and SS2.

He shared that the reasoning behind this was because the information that had been programmed into the system was on a device that could only be programmed once, which meant that in the next update, the company wasn’t able to take those systems and turn it into something that would fix the problem, hence SS3 came out to solve the problem.

Zonenberg had reached out to Simplisafe but had never received a response when he was trying to warn of the dangers that could present themselves with the flaw in the system. But he continued to let the public know what was going on so they could take the necessary action. That’s a pretty smart noodle.

The attack was known as a “replay attack” in which the burglar would be able to replay the signal that was broadcast from the device in order to turn around and then remotely disable the alarm system which allowed them to go about their burglary.

Zonenberg continued to explain that the devices that were spitting out these unencrypted codes to anyone around would have to be replaced because of the programming issue. As you dig deeper, you begin to realize the danger of this.

There are many of these systems in homes, and since they lack the encryption, they allow those who would like to tamper with it to be able to completely take over the program and change their pin, as well as adjusting the other settings, which unfortunately locks you out from your own security system. Not very ideal now is it?

With this information brought forward, it’s easy for people to come and mess with the older devices, as well as those who put the stickers up of their alarm system.

With that being on display, the burglars are able to know and realize faster that you potentially have the easiest house on the block. So be careful what you’re displaying security system wise.

Monitoring Options

There are two options when you’re going through this as to how you would like to be monitored. You can choose to monitor it yourself or for $14.99 a month, you can have your information monitored professionally. But what does that mean?

When you’re allowing your information to be monitored professionally, you’re able to have two numbers that are contacted when there’s an alarm that is triggered that could potentially cause security issues.

If the first number doesn’t connect, they will reach out to the secondary, and if there is no answer from that number as well, they will contact 911 and have them go and check out the situation to make sure that you’re safe and alive.

When you’re choosing to self-monitor, it’s up to you to be able to assess the threat and also be able to call the police if there really is a threat to your home and your safety.

One of the things that a customer was really pleased with is that they were taught how to be able to set up the cameras in case they had any pets because their dog had set off the infrared scanner once and they received a call.

It was nice to be able to have a call and be told exactly how they could prevent their animals from getting caught on the device again.

There’s a lot of things that you can do with personal monitoring, as well as professional. It really just all depends on what you would like to do and how you would like your home to be protected.

Personally, my family just monitors our own home, and we’ve done pretty well so far. We’re aware of everything that’s going on.

It’s also a nice feeling to be able to know that there are people who are watching your home and in case something goes wrong, they will be there and be able to help you along the way and alert you. For me, that gives me a little bit more peace, and I would definitely do that if I was able to do so.

Deceptive Designs

Now, that may sound bad when you first read the title, but with the new version of Simplisafe, they have made it so the designs of each device is able to slip into corners or spaces so they can blend into your home and not make it super obvious that you have a constant security system running.

One of the good things about the little devices that let you know if you have an open door, they are also able to go on windows, which is something that other competition isn’t able to do. That way you can be sure that when a window is suddenly opened, you’ll be able to know which one and where in the house.

With the simplistic design, you are able to know that you can have these things set up around your home and be able to continue to wander around knowing that you’re safe.

Along with the new designs, they are planning to release video doorbells, outdoor cameras, smart locks, and being able to integrate Amazon’s Alexa into the commands as well. Allowing your home to become even more of a smart home.

One of the things that Simplisafe offers is a thing that’s called Secret Alerts. When you’re wanting to know if something’s being kept safe, you can put this device in a place that you’ve got valuable things.

You can place this on a liquor cabinet, gun safe, and anything else that you want to keep protected. With these alerts, you will be notified when these objects are opened or tampered with.

But instead of getting a notification on your phone from the normal app, you receive a text or an email that allows you to know when people are peeping around where they shouldn’t be. This is especially helpful when you have valuables that you know shouldn’t be touched.

I think that being able to use the Secret Alerts is something that would be best to guard those important things. Whether they were valuable items, or even if they were documents that you would like to keep hidden and the information secret.

You never know when you’ll need that protection.

How Can I Protect My Home?

Since you’ve installed the security system, it’s obvious that you want to protect your home. By having the SS3 you’re able to continue to feel confident that your home is safely protected. But what else can you do in order to protect it?

Download a crime-tracking app. This may sound silly, but if you’re really concerned about what’s going on and how safe your community is, then you have that option to be able to know what’s happening around you and if there’s anything that you need to be aware of.

With your security system in place, it might also be smart to place cameras around your property for some added security and to be able to know what’s going on around your home when you aren’t there.

My family and I have done that. We have a floodlight camera that is set off by motion that we can connect to at any time and any place.

If you’re going around and trying to find a safe place for your spare key, don’t do the obvious under the rug, on top of the door frame, or in the fake rock. Those will be the first places that people can check.

Try to hide it at least fifty feet or more from your home. You can also look into a keyless electronic lock if that’s something that you’re more interested in.

There’s another thing that you can do if you’re concerned about the security of your home, you can go forward and change your door. Usually, there are a lot of doors that are wooden, but if you were to switch to one that has a security metalcore, that can also add to the safety of your home and helps people to not so easily break in.

I know that there’s a lot of neighborhoods that you may feel safe in, and feel like you’re okay leaving your doors unlocked, but if there are people that are watching your home, they will start to figure out your habits, so it’s best that you lock your doors continuously if you’re going to be leaving the home.

Even when you’re there, just to be safe. In my town, a lot of people leave their doors unlocked, and you never really know what’s going to happen.

Keeping your valuables hidden is always a smart thing to do. You wouldn’t want to have your window open when you’ve got some gold bars on your table and you won’t be home until six in the evening.

There’s a reason that you should use common sense to be able to hide your valuables and keep things simple. The more complicated you make your situation, the more enticing your home may be to invade.

I have a friend that likes to be able to have people think they’re home, so they will leave the television on and have it loud enough so people will think that someone is still there. You can also get some devices that allow you to control lights from your phone.

These are just some tips so you can be able to add some more security to your home and continue to feel safe about the things that are happening around you. Not to mention be prepared for what will come.

Related Questions:

Can Simplisafe still be hacked? Due to the software update, with the SS3 the company added encryption which in turn allows for the data to be protected more than before. Hackers aren’t able to crack the layers of encryption that Simplisafe has made an effort to provide to their consumers.

Does Simplisafe work with Google Home? Simplisafe is now compatible with Google Home, so you can connect it to your security system and be able to trigger multiple things, including arming your system and more with the voice commands that Google Home offers.

Does Simplisafe need a landline? When you’re installing Simplisafe, you can choose to have a landline, wireless router, or even a cellular connection that will work through your security system. Most of the devices are wireless, so you don’t need a landline in order to have your system work.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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