Several popular home security systems can be disabled with nothing more than a laptop computer and a device the size of a walkie-talkie.
That’s the worrying conclusion of recent Consumer Reports tests. Using a technique called a jamming attack, thieves can block wireless signals from doors, windows, and motion sensors, allowing them to enter your property without triggering an alarm.
CR warns that “owners of these systems need not panic” as jamming attacks are not very common. But if that’s just a small reassurance, here’s a look at which security systems failed the test and which ones held up.
The most vulnerable home security systems
Two home security systems scored worst in Consumer Reports’ tests for their ability to withstand jamming attacks:
- Cove Home Security System
- Eufy 5 Piece Home Alarm Kit
In addition to the low marks on jamming attacks, both of these systems are vulnerable to another type of hack called “replay disarming.”
This technique involves copying the wireless signal from a key fob used to disarm your alarm. Consumer Reports points out that this is more difficult for thieves to achieve because they would have to be nearby when you enter the house to pick up the signal.
The publication has also shared its findings with alarm makers so they can work on resolving it.
Other Vulnerable Home Security Systems
While not performing as badly as the Cove and Eufy devices, three other systems suffered jamming attacks during testing:
- Abode Iota All-in-One Kit
- Ring Alarm Security Kit (Second Generation)
- SimpliSafe Essentials SS3-01
The least vulnerable home security systems
These brands resisted Consumer Reports’ jamming attacks and proofreading attacks:
- Blue by ADT
What this means for you
Although Consumer Reports says these types of attacks aren’t common, you can still take steps to protect yourself.
Do not advertise the security system you are using with signage and window decals. It basically means telling thieves which instruction manual they should consult to hack into your system. Instead, use generic signs or decals as a deterrent.
If you want to upgrade to a potentially more secure system, you can check out Consumer Reports’ full home security system ratings here.
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