SimpliSafe is a company that manufactures and sells wireless home security systems. In the past few years, there have been instances of the SimpliSafe systems getting hacked.
The SS and SS2 versions of the home security systems were not cyber secured. However, the new version SS3 announced in 2018 assures encrypted signals to its users, which cannot be tampered with, thereby eliminating the odds of the previous SimpliSafe hacks.
Has SimpliSafe Cameras Been Hacked?
Dr. Andrew Zonenberg, who is a senior security consultant at IOActive made a report on the security provided by SimpliSafe. He also made a YouTube video demonstrating how easy it was for a motivated intruder to hack SS and SS2. You can read the entire report on the SimpliSafe hacks here and watch the YouTube video here.
According to Zonenberg, the wireless signals broadcast by the system were not encrypted. Because of this, a hacker could turn the alarms off from a distance of 200 yards, with the help of some basic hardware and software equipment. The equipment, which can be bought for anything between $50 to $250 can be used to obtain pins and turn the alarms off.
The name of the attack was ‘Replay Attack’. The intruder would replay the signal emanated from the system and disable the alarm, thus being able to proceed with breaking in.
The problem with the previous versions of the SimpliSafe home security systems is that the device which inhabits the system only allows the programming of information once. Because of this, the flaws of the system were not repairable, hence making the homes of the users vulnerable to SimpliSafe hacks. The users were left with no choice but to terminate the use of the system.
At the time of the report, SimpliSafe had 3 lakh users. The response from SimpliSafe to this report stated that such kinds of wireless systems are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, however, their systems can be backed up using landline or an internet connection, totally free of cost. However, the report affected the number of users as they found out how much at risk their homes were due to easy SimpliSafe hacks.
Zonenberg first approached SimpliSafe with the problem, however, a lack of an effective response on their part lead him to make the video in order to make the general public aware of this serious problem.
The New Version: SS3
To overcome the drawbacks of the previous versions and in an attempt to regain the trust of their users after the report on SimpliSafe hacks, SS3 was launched. As discussed previously, the main feature of SS3 is the encryption of signals.
This means that when you disarm the security system, the intruder cannot access the signal or the PINS, making it safer than the previous versions.
The design of the new product is very innovative. Its small size makes it easy to hide it in any corner or space of the house. The option to keep the system inconspicuous is good if you don’t want anyone to know about the security system installed in the house.
An added advantage is that these systems aren’t only confined to doors, but work well with windows, too. So, you will know if any of the windows have been opened forcibly. This feature is unique to SimpliSafe home security systems, i.e. none of the peer companies offer this feature.
Another feature that this new version offers is ‘Secret Alerts’. You simply have to keep the device over any box, safe or a valuable item that you don’t want anyone to tamper with. In case, anyone tries to tamper with it, you will directly either get a mail or a text message
The SS3 with its improved features has been quite effective in correcting the causes of previous SimpliSafe hacks.
This product of SimpliSafe has a base station that alerts the monitoring station if someone tries to break in and the siren is of 95Db. A keypad, a key fob, 4 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 panic button, 1 temperature sensor, 1 water sensor and 1 smoke detector are the other features.
This product is a perfect fit for large homes, with four or more bedrooms. It provides the same features The Haven except for the water sensor, temperature sensor and the panic button.
This is the most commonly bought home security system of all the SimpliSafe systems. It comes with a base station, keypad, motion sensor, and 3 entry sensors.
You can visit the official website to learn more about the various SimpliSafe products.
In conclusion, due to poor encryption, SS and SS2 have been unsafe. However, with the new version of the home security system, you can trust SimpliSafe with your home and other valuable assets. The new features that are provided with SS3 have discarded the pitfalls in the previous versions that led to SimpliSafe hacks.
Connect SimpliSafe to Other Devices
Another amazing feature that is provided by SimpliSafe is that the home security systems can be connected to both Alexa and Google Home. However, for security purposes, you cannot disarm the system through both, Alexa and Google Home by voice command.
Let’s have a look at the commands at the various voice commands for using SimpliSafe with Alexa and Google Home:
Via Alexa in Away Mode
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe to turn on.”
- “Alexa, ask SimpliSafe to arm my system in Away mode.”
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m going out.”
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m leaving.”
Via Alexa in Home Mode
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe to arm my system in Home mode.”
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe to lock up.”
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe goodnight.”
Via Google Home
- “Hey Google, turn on the security system” and the Google Assistant will respond intelligently, asking which mode you want to set.
- “Hey Google, arm SimpliSafe to Home”
- “Hey Google, arm SimpliSafe to Away”
- “Hey Google, set the security system to Home”
- “Hey Google, set the security system to Away”
- “Hey Google, is the security system armed?”
- “Hey Google, am I protected?”