Several popular DIY home security systems can be disabled with nothing more than a laptop and a device the size of a walkie-talkie.
That’s the concerning finding in recent testing from Consumer Reports. Using a technique called a “jamming attack,” thieves can block wireless signals from doors, windows and motion sensors, which lets them enter your property without setting off an alarm.
CR cautions “owners of these systems needn’t panic” because jamming attacks are not very common. But if that’s small comfort, here’s a look at which security systems failed the test and which held up.
The most vulnerable home security systems
Two home security systems performed worst in Consumer Reports’ tests of their ability to withstand jamming attacks:
- Cove Home Security System
- Eufy 5-Piece Home Alarm Kit
In addition to low ratings on jamming attacks, both of these systems are vulnerable to another kind of hack called “replay disarming.”
This technique involves copying the wireless signal from a keyfob used to disarm your alarm. Consumer Reports points out this is more difficult for thieves to pull off because they would have to be nearby when you are entering the house to capture the signal.
The publication also shared its findings with the alarm makers so they can work on fixing it.
Other vulnerable home security systems
While not performing as poorly as the Cove and Eufy devices, three other systems fell to jamming attacks in tests:
- Abode Iota All-In-One Kit
- Ring Alarm Security Kit (second generation)
- SimpliSafe The Essentials SS3-01
The least vulnerable home security systems
These brands withstood jamming attacks and replay attacks from Consumer Reports:
- Blue by ADT
- Honeywell Home
What it means for you
While Consumer Reports says these kinds of attacks are not common, you can still take steps to protect yourself.
Don’t advertise what security system you use with yard signs and window decals. That’s essentially telling thieves which instruction manual they need to look at to hack your system. Instead, use generic signs or decals as a deterrent.
If you’d like to switch to a potentially more secure system, you can check out Consumer Reports’ full home security system ratings here.
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