SimpliSafe, a Boston-based "smart" alarm provider, provides alarms for over 300,000 homes in America. But, do the alarms all contain a flaw that allows burglars with rudimentary hacking skills to intercept the system's signals and disarm it? FORBES staffer Thomas Fox-Brewster reports on findings from security consultancy IOActive that SimpliSafe alarms could be broken into with hardware and software bought for between $50 and $250, a few hours of labor, from a distance of up to 200 yards.
A SimpliSafe blog post addresses the IOActive claims here.
Fox-Brewster notes that one challenge may be that Simplisafe alarm systems come installed with a one-time programmable chip, meaning that they can't be upgraded to defend against hack attacks. The company is currently working on a solution to this flaw. Fox-Brewster writes:
SimpliSafe spokesperson Melina Engel told FORBES that it was planning on releasing hardware with over-the-air firmware updates and that customers would be given a discount on those once they were available. She also pointed out that customers are notified every time someone disarms an alarm.