davey_d's profile
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Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

Thu, Aug 8, 2019 8:47 PM

Jam Detection Update

RF Jamming is a technical reality.  All devices that use wireless communications protocols can be jammed. The good news is, a) this is *not* a known attack vector for home security, because it's not a reliable way to enter and move about a home undetected, and b) we have a jam detection algorithm that is being constantly tuned and updated behind the scenes, which notices if someone is trying to jam your system and alerts you. More on that below:



A little tech talk:




First we'd like to highlight one of the most annoying issues in detecting jam attacks: False positives are a huge problem. Radio signal "noise' is everywhere and intermittent. So for some customers these alerts could become annoying -- and potentially harmful if they created the incorrect feeling that their system isn't working.  We are constantly tuning our detection algorithm to get better and better at differentiating between normal, ubiquitous RF interference and actual, concerning jamming activity without frustrating you with a barrage of nuisance alerts.



Second, jamming without being detected would be extremely difficult, as is clear in the Youtube video.  The jam detection was triggered several times by the tester. Our system's array of multiple sensors and cameras (layers of protection), wireless communications protocols and jam detection algorithm work together to make it very hard for anyone to interfere with your system undetected.



Here's why:

The jamming demonstrated is under controlled conditions, with the "jammer" in close proximity to the base station and the sensor which is transmitting. Our testing shows that moving the jammer to another area away from the base station and having the sensor closer to the base station, the sensor could still communicate with the base station. Also, if the jammer is tuned too close to our transmission frequency, as it moves closer to the base station, it will trigger the RF jamming warning. In other words, prior knowledge of the layout of our motion sensors, door sensors and base station in the customers home and a rehearsal of how to move about the home would be necessary to confidently select a frequency that will both jam and not be detected -- let alone on the first try. Plus they would have to keep the jamming interference in that range for the entire time needed to pull off a burglary, while continuing to avoid detection. It's not impossible...but we're continuously improving our system to make it increasingly impossible.



We frequently tune our detection parameters and release security and usability updates. We are in the process of another round of detection algorithm tuning which will continue to refine our ability to differentiate between the brief interference noise that typically occurs in many homes, and actual bad actors. This update has been in the works for a while -- it's currently in beta and will be released remotely in a month or so.



Also, SimpliSafe already offers video verification -- an opt-in service where, in the event of an alarm, our professional monitoring center views video from your home, prioritizing it for the police. This enhances police response times when real alarm events are in progress, and cuts down on false alarms and unnecessary police dispatches. In the near future, we will offer video verification for potential interference events, where experts at our monitoring center can review footage and determine if police dispatch is warranted.



Finally, a reminder (found in this CNET article):


"The most likely burglary scenario by far is the unsophisticated crime of opportunity, usually involving a broken window or some other kind of brute-force entry. According to the FBI, crimes like these accounted for more than half of all residential burglaries in the US in 2017. The wide majority of the rest were unlawful, unforced entries that resulted from something like a window or a garage door being left open. The odds of a criminal using technical means to bypass a security system are so small that the FBI doesn't even track those statistics.'


We are a company that focused on protecting you, which means we work on protecting you against even unlikely scenarios like this.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 3 y

All fine and well, except for the hundreds of thousands who don't have your simplicams (not to mention the numerous problems people have with their connections).  So visual verification is not justification for the potential problem.

Also, the guy repeatedly said that he tested from the far end of his home and was still able to bypass the system.

1.3K Messages

Do your own test then and decide to shitcan the system or keep it based on your individual results. Nothing SS can say will totally reassure everyone for every situation. First, because they'd be foolish to say that; second, because users would be foolish to believe it. There is ALWAYS a way around.

And, of course, it's all somewhat an illusion anyway, security that is. You don't have to have the best, only more than the next guy so that you are not the easiest target.

Frankly, the odds are probably more that you will die in a car crash than that a crook will 1) target your house, 2) ascertain you have a SS system, 3) try the attack described, and 4) it actually work in that particular instance.

"Smart" crooks don't take unnecessary risks. Dumb crooks, well...doesn't really matter as who knows what they'll do but it probably won't be using electronic countermeasures.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 3 y

I was making a point where SS emphasizes the use of their simplicams for visual verification, that's not a real solution (for those who don't have them, for those who don't have monitoring plans, and for those who don't have alerts, and for those who are having problems with camera connectivity).  Also, from a cursory search (not here), many others have already tested this, not with the jammer/sensor/base in close proximity as in the video, but in a more realistic situation, with the same results.  SS downplaying it (like they did with the SS2 problem), doesn't negate others' test results.

Did I say I was going to get rid of the system?  No, I did not.

1.3K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Of course they're going to downplay it, and as well they should. It is improbable this is actually going to happen to anybody, just as it is improbable for anyone with SS2 to have their code captured and resent back to the system.

43 Messages

Il y a 3 y

whearu99, why be so defensive about it . This isn't a Team sport where we root for out favorites. As customers we need to be aware of these possible breaches. This forum is a place where we can learn about them!

Captain

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4.6K Messages

Il y a 3 y

@sign I think he was trying to balance the scare tactics from the YouTube article and reality.  Yes, any system can be compromised but, based on my own experience, I think the $2 remote headline is a non starter.  A ham radio, another story but I for one am not going to lose sleep about it.  I didn't take offense at any of the postings and think they all have been pretty tame.

43 Messages

Fair enough!

5 Messages

Il y a 3 y

Allow me to weigh in on this, as I too have seen the recent video on RF jamming. We need to take a look at what the fundamental principle of having a security system is - it is risk mitigation. Nothing more, nothing less. I know a person that had an ADT system that was outfitted with the latest & greatest and still got robbed. The burglar kicked in the front door, darted upstairs, grabbed jewelry and guns, and was out in three minutes' time. What no one asked after this event was what knowledge did the burglar have that this person had guns and jewelry in the master bedroom? Could it be because the neighborhood was being cased and the criminals saw this victim carrying his guns inside in broad daylight after a trip to the range with his son, or spotted them in the open garage cleaning them afterwards and made the education deduction that they would be in the master closet? Did someone in the family post the beautiful new diamond ring he purchased on Facebook? Security is more than security systems, it's a way of life to mitigate the risk. Security systems add an extra layer of deterrence, and believe me, they work. Every system has its compromises, there is no iron clad protection. If someone wants a way in and they're determined to make that happen, then they're getting in.

I would highly recommend anyone who is serious about adding the greatest layer of home security to get a high quality camera system and do their own in-house hosting/monitoring rather than cloud monitoring. Get a 1080p or 4K camera system, hardwired with power over ethernet, and have the cameras running into an NVR or through a switch to a standalone PC isolated from your home LAN on a virtual private network.

Watch this video of a lifelong burglar turned informant on what his thoughts of wireless security systems are. That should give you some peace of mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtwD-c9hn58

And this video, of a career burglar who talks about what burglars are looking for when it comes to the opportunities people provide to them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqgtdFg1oxk

Neither of these guys talk about going to the trouble of RF jamming.

5 Messages

Il y a 3 y

Allow me to weigh in on this, as I too have seen the recent video on RF jamming. We need to take a look at what the fundamental principle of having a security system is - it is risk mitigation. Nothing more, nothing less. I know a person that had an ADT system that was outfitted with the latest & greatest and still got robbed. The burglar kicked in the front door, darted upstairs, grabbed jewelry and guns, and was out in three minutes' time. What no one asked after this event was what knowledge did the burglar have that this person had guns and jewelry in the master bedroom? Could it be because the neighborhood was being cased and the criminals saw this victim carrying his guns inside in broad daylight after a trip to the range with his son, or spotted them in the open garage cleaning them afterwards and made the educated deduction that they would be in the master closet? Or did the burglar just take the chance that since most people store their valuables in the master bedroom, that's where to hit and to do it quickly? Seems like an awful big risk for someone that had a security system. Did someone in the family post the beautiful new diamond ring he purchased on Facebook? Security is more than security systems, it's a way of life to mitigate the risk. Security systems add an extra layer of deterrence, and believe me, they work. Every system has its compromises, there is no iron clad protection. If someone wants a way in and they're determined to make that happen, then they're getting in.

I would highly recommend anyone who is serious about adding the greatest layer of home security to get a high quality camera system and do their own in-house hosting/monitoring rather than cloud monitoring. Get a 1080p or 4K camera system, hardwired with power over ethernet, and have the cameras running into an NVR or through a switch to a standalone PC isolated from your home LAN on a virtual private network.

Watch the youtube videos of a lifelong burglar turned informant on what his thoughts of wireless security systems are. That should give you some peace of mind.

34 Messages

"what knowledge did the burglar have that this person had guns and jewelry in the master bedroom?"  Police will tell you that a burglar heads directly to the master bedroom after breaking in because that's invariably where any items of value like cash, jewelry, drugs and guns are stored in every house.  Burglars don't have to case a house to know that.

6 Messages

would sure be nice if links were provided to all these mentioned videos.  Even if the SS forum does not turn them into hot links, it is no problem to copy/paste them into address bar

4 Messages

@Justso -- Very true. Minimizing risk is the game.

Wired security could be equally as risky. If someone wants to cut your power, you're done. At least with wireless, you're good to go regardless. And as SS said, the chances of someone jamming with such precision are not convenient or probable for a serious thief, and the alerts are worthwhile.

But security systems in and of themselves are just the beginning of security. As you said, people who flash their valuables, post ignorantly on social media about their vacations, and live without discretion make themselves vulnerable. To live securely is a lifestyle and mindset.

There's a whole lot more to security than defense. You have to think of offense as well.

5 Messages

Il y a 3 y

Hi Taggart,

Yes, you're right. That's why I said in the post above: " Or did the burglar just take the chance that since most people store their valuables in the master bedroom"

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Darn, I've got my stuff in the wrong room  :-)

429 Messages

Il y a 3 y

My wife's grandparents had it right, then. They stored the loaded shotgun by the front door! Of course, they lived in the country. If they weren't expecting you past dark you knew to make yourself known from a distance.

1.3K Messages


On August 19th, 2019 WS729 says:
My wife's grandparents had it right, then. They stored the loaded shotgun by the front door! Of course, they lived in the country. If they weren't expecting you past dark you knew to make yourself known from a distance.


Crooks like those NRA bumper stickers too. Means there are probably some nice guns to steal in the house where that vehicle usually parks.

Captain

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4.6K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Or, easier just not to own anything that valuable.  Everything in my house can be replaced by insurance...that is except for my family.

1.3K Messages

Il y a 3 y

I refuse to be held hostage so to speak, i.e. easier just to have nothing worth stealing.

Insurance can replace the stuff, true enough. What it cannot replace is the sense of violation and other feelings that go along with having things stolen from you and or your home, vehicle, etc., broken into.

Captain

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4.6K Messages

Don't get me wrong, whoaru99, not a question of being held hostage, just at my age don't need the Audi anymore, just basic transportation to get from point A to B, etc.  Still like to travel and go to nice places for a good meal, but no need to keep up with the Jones...or anyone else for that matter.

1.3K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Several hobbies here, some with fairly high cost of entry. Not giving those up. Insurance will cover replacement but that doesn't doesn't fix the anger and feelings of your space being violated, so to speak.

Had a snowmobile stolen earlier this year. Sure, insurance paid out but, frankly, I am much more interested in vengeance than the money for a replacement sled. In fact, I put up the whole amount of the insurance settlement for reward just to try to find out who did it. Unfortunately, no such luck as of yet but I'll find out sooner or later. It's a small town. My guess is it didn't go too far. They're just hoping it'll all blow over with time and that's when loose lips will sink their ship.

Captain

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4.6K Messages

Il y a 3 y

LOL. you are probably right, especially in a small town. My main hobby is tech. Now retired I build websites for nc for non profits and my vendors (landscaper etc), setup and support family and friend's computers and, as you, participate a lot in the SImplisafe forums.  Yeah, got a large pipe for broadband and not much in the way of toys like a snow mobile, although I guest my 75 inch Samsung QLED TV and Bose surround system might tempt a few bad guys.

9 Messages

Il y a 3 y

Question for Simplisafe on the algorithm updates mentioned. Will those of us that have a house filled with Simplisafe 2 gear receive these purported updates? If so, how?

60 Messages

@garyjnj1​ Simplisafe 2 system cannot be updated. The only system that has the ability to receive updates is the Simplisafe 3 system.