Home Security Systems Can Be Used to Spy on You
- By Matt Holden
- Jul 24, 2014
Your home security system isn’t as secure as you might think, and it could also be used to spy on you according to some experts in a recent article. Logan Lamb, a cybersecurity researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, pointed out flaws in home systems like ADT.
The weakness in motion sensors comes from their legacy wireless communications, which are the same communications used in the 90s. Lamb could pick up signals being sent from sensors on windows and doors to the main control system and track when people were opening and closing windows and doors. With more sophisticated equipment, he could interfere with transmissions, setting of alarms by falsely telling them doors were opening when they weren’t. He could do this from 65 to 250 yards away, meaning a criminal intending to enter the house could do this to someone’s home before ever stepping foot inside of it.
Furthermore, researchers Colby Moore and Patrick Wardle from Synack have hacked Dropcam devices, which have recently been acquired by Google-owned Nest. They found that a small button on the back of the camera would allow someone to install spyware and thus surveys the audio and video of the owners. It would also allow someone to install a program that could make the owners see video of the attacker’s choosing.
Dropcam’s CEO, Greg Duffy, said that this sort of hacking is only possible if someone gains physical access to the device. His concern is remote access and hacking, something he said that Dropcam is excellent in deterring.
Lamb’s goal in all of this is to make better, safer security systems.
“The idea of covering a home with more security sensors does not translate into a more secure home,” Lamb said.
Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.