platelunch's profile

Fri, Feb 11, 2022 5:11 AM

Is there a way to turn off Bluetooth Advertising?

While using a Bluetooth test tool on my phone, I was surprised to find a nearby device advertising as "SS3". A little sleuthing indicated it was my Simplisafe base station. I'm one of those who doesn't like to tell people what kind of security system I have. Is there a way to turn off Bluetooth advertising so a stranger at my door doesn't know what I have installed? I believe the Bluetooth advertising started with the recent software update.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

Il y a 6 m

Hi platelunch,

The Base Station does feature Bluetooth LE (low energy), which is used by the SimpliSafe app as part of setup and configuration. It stays active only during Off Mode - and of course isn't scannable by just anyone scanning for available devices nearby.

Right now, there is no way to disable the feature.

17 Messages

Il y a 6 m

So how can I request a Bluetooth disable feature? Why does the Simplisafe app need Bluetooth now when it didn't before? Advertising your Simplisafe system's presence and base station location just doesn't seem like a wise idea.

At least the base station kicks me off when I connect to it and start poking around. It then apparently blacklists me for a few minutes and blocks reconnection attempts.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

The bluetooth function enables the app to connect to your Base Station directly, for functions like connecting to WiFi, etc.

 

But I did raise your point about your Base Station plainly broadcasting its identity. While most intruders are not going to be snooping around bluetooth frequencies to find your system, our engineering team is looking into changing the broadcasted name anyway.

17 Messages

Thanks.

I don't know if you're familiar with the NextDoor neighborhood forum but there have been a couple of instances in my area of a person coming up to an owner's house, knocking on the door, and asking the owner how they liked their Ring doorbell camera. The person then walked away. The owners went back to check the video of the encounter and found nothing recorded. As you might expect, the owners were a bit perturbed. Now imagine someone coming up to your door and asking about your Simplisafe system.

Most of the information a Bluetooth device advertises with is optional. You can ask your engineers to at least stop broadcasting the Local Name and Manufacturer Data. Going beyond that will take a bit more work.

Advocate

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417 Messages

Il y a 5 m

@platelunch 

I don't know if you're familiar with the NextDoor neighborhood forum but there have been a couple of instances in my area of a person coming up to an owner's house, knocking on the door, and asking the owner how they liked their Ring doorbell camera. The person then walked away. The owners went back to check the video of the encounter and found nothing recorded. As you might expect, the owners were a bit perturbed. Now imagine someone coming up to your door and asking about your Simplisafe system.

Sorry, what are they (or you) is suggesting that is happening here that is related to SimpliSafe and bluetooth being enabled? I don't follow.

Also, this happens not infrequently to me regardless:

The owners went back to check the video of the encounter and found nothing recorded

Deeply frustrating and nothing to do with BT tampering I am sure.

2 Messages

Il y a 5 m

The reason for a security system is because of unscrupulous characters! Advertising an OPEN bluetooth that I can't protect or control is ignorant. A non-password protected bluetooth that picks up 50+ yards from my base station has led to hacking of my internet :*{  Simplisafe customer service long denied this bluetooth signal and cant tell me how to avoid it. My cameras were randomly clicking and lighting up as if recording, but by the time I could go to the ap, which had kicked me off and I didn't want to have to fiddle to sign back on in the middle of the night, I never found recordings on my ap. (which barely work because I thought the cellular so widely advertised was going to handle the system. MUCH later I find out, no you must have internet/wifi to update, use ap, etc...  How many times I thought I had the system armed with the ap to find out "oh no, if you don't have the system connected to wifi, your ap won't work" ? Really? And the keypad tells me it's not connected to cellular and I'm supposed to believe some CS that it's really working? 

  The system doesn't work the same as when I first purchased, and definitely not as good. I cant use the system at all because of the bluetooth allowing unscrupulous characters to access my system and internet. I feel less safe with it on and had to disassemble the base to stop their passage into my privacy and home.

I also found increased data usage on my internet which is pitiful, but the reason I bought SS is because of it's own praises of cellular not using my wifi. I can't spend hours on the phone holding for customer service that tells me "Oh well" & "even if your keypad says it isn't conected/working, we show it is."  Then I find out when I thought I was using the ap to arm my system, "oh, it won't work unless you are connected to wifi."   ?????? 

ANGRY and tired of poor customer service, intermittent service, keypad saying cellular disconnected but even tho I had to disconnect the wifi from the system, it is apparently leaching anyway? SS needs to save money on commercials and train employees as no two seem to agree or be able to figure out why the keypad shows the system isn't connected to cellular, or even see to the quality of their system. How am I supposed to even just hope on a system that cant confirm to me it's working and subjecting me to privacy invasion if not home invasion? 

Advocate

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417 Messages

Il y a 5 m

non-password protected bluetooth that picks up 50+ yards from my base station has led to hacking of my internet :*{

First, I get that you're frustrated and I'm not suggesting you shouldn't be. That said, someone using a bluetooth connection to compromise the SimpliSafe base station to then allow them to access the internet over bluetooth through the base station seems EXTREMELY unlikely. (I'm not saying impossible because I can't know that for sure, obviously.)

Simplisafe customer service long denied this bluetooth signal and cant tell me how to avoid it. My cameras were randomly clicking and lighting up as if recording, 

The likelihood of someone using bluetooth to attack your base station to attack your router to compromise your WiFI to then attack and compromise your cameras is EVEN MORE EXTREMELY UNLIKELY. (Again, I'm not saying it's impossible because I don't know that.) There are many reasons why cameras might, at any time of day, click (I assume you mean the privacy shutter opens?) and record briefly. 

The most likely scenarios are detailed in https://support.simplisafe.com/hc/en-us/articles/360029594152-When-does-the-camera-record- which explains that your cameras, whether you want them to or not, will always activate and record when any of the following events happen:

  • Alarms
  • Disarming your SimpliSafe system
  • Camera Detected Motion
  • User Triggered Recording
  • Secret Alerts (When Enabled)
  • User Initiated Test of the SimpliSafe system
  • Duress Alarm
  • Silent Panic button
  • Entry Delay (After entering your home while the system is alarmed)
  • Power Restored

If your security shutter is closed when any of these events happen, the shutter will open (hence a click) and record (hence a light). You cannot disable or prevent the cameras from recording when these events happen. You can disable the privacy shutter so you at least don't hear the click but the cameras will still record.

The other possible scenario is that there is a clicking (less loud than the shutter) that happens when a camera switches to/from night vision if you have it set to auto. If the room gets dark, light, dark, etc. repeatedly (lights turn on or off in room, clouds move in front of or from in front of the sun, etc.) you may hear multiple clicks as the night vision turns on or off.

Is it possible that someone has hacked your system through bluetooth? Sure, it's possible but it's ridiculously unlikely. It's far far far more likely that your cameras are making noise/recording for one of the reasons listed above and you're confusing correlation with causation. So do you have logs or some kind of proof that you've been hacked via BT or are you using the evidence of camera recording and clicking as proof?

but the reason I bought SS is because of it's own praises of cellular not using my wifi.

I don't believe I've ever seen anything in SimpliSafe's sales literature or support documentation suggesting that cellular would be used for all network traffic. Or even most network traffic. If there's something out there on the SimpliSafe site that says otherwise, please link it here so @davey_d can work on fixing the language.

2 Messages

Il y a 5 m

So I got an email that says it's from" Simplisafe Community", specifically "Worthing"

(Who is "Worthing" and Why not just reply publicly on the forum? Obviously I am not the only one concerned about this publicized Bluetooth. My response is below)

The email is retyped word for word below:

CO  Is there a way to turn off Bluetooth Advertising?

While using a Bluetooth test tool on my phone, I was surprised to find a nearby device advertising as "SS3". A little sleuthing indicated....

          JA  A non-password protected bluetooth that picks up 50+ yards from my base station has led to hacking of my internet ;*{

     

          First, I get that you're frustrated and I'm not suggesting you shouldn't be. That said, someone using a bluetooth connection to compromise the SimpliSafe basestation seems EXTREMELY unlikely. (I'm not saying impossible because I can't know that for sure, obviously.)

          Simplisafe customer service long denied this bluetooth signal and cant tell me how to avoid it. My cameras were randomly clicking and lighting up as f recording.

The likelihood of someone using bluetooth to attack your base station to attack your router to compromise your base WIFI to then attack and compromise your cameras is EVEN MORE EXTREMELY UNLIKELY. (Again I'm not saying it's impossible because I don't know that.) There are many reasons why cameras might at any time of day, click (I assume you mean the privacy shutter opens?) and record briefly.

The most likely scenarios are detailed in https://support.simplisafe.com/hc/en-us/articles/360029594152-When-does-the-camera-record-   

which explains that your cameras, whether you want them to or not, will always activate and record when any of the following events happen:

*Alarms

*Disarming your Simplisafe system

*Camera Detected Motion

*User Triggered Recording

*Secret Alerts (When Enabled)

*User Initiated Test of the Simplisafe system

*Duress Alarm

*Silent Panic Button

*Entry Delay (After entering your home while the system is alarmed)

*Power Restored

If your security shutter is closed when any of these events happen, the shutter will open(hence a click) and record (hence a light) You cannot disable or prevent the cameras from recording when these event happen. You can disable the privacy shutter so at least you don't hear the click but the cameras will still record.

The other possible scenario is that there is a clicking (less loud than the shutter) that happens when a camera switches to/from night vision if you have it set to auto. If the room gets dark, light, dark, etc. repeatedly (lights turn on or off in room, clouds move in front of or from in front of the sun etc.) you may hear multiple clicks as the night vision turns on or off.

Is it possible someone has hacked your system through bluetooth? Sure, it's possible but ridiculously unlikely. It's far far far more likely that your cameras are making noise/recording for one of the reasons listed above and you're confusing correlation with causation. So do you have logs or some kind of proof that you've been hacked via BT or are you using evidence of camera recording and clicking as proof?

           but the reason I bought SS is because of it's own praises of cellular not using my wifi.

I don't believe I've ever seen anything in SimpliSafe's sale literature or support documentation suggesting that cellular would be used for all network traffic. Or even most network traffic. If there's something out there on the SimpliSafe site that says otherwise, please link it here so @davey_d can work on fixing the language.

----END OF EMAIL-----

MY response for public help:

How nice of someone to respond (yes I am thankful, I've a bit of money tied up in this system and would love to be able to feel safe with it,) even if I don't know who you are or who you represent. I have in the past spent hours upon hours, emailed, called, been promised return calls, can't reach the same person twice, spent hours on hold, been told varying answers by SS CS, and feel this is a mostly deflected "answer."  You see the start of this thread had to do with the advertised bluetooth.  I simply added that it was nonpassword protected and have additional issue because of it. So while I've read all about the potential camera issues, a secondary issue, my  wifi isn't good enough they are basically a data drain and not reliable anyway.  So let's throw out the junk here and focus on the real issue here. (The elephant in the room is BLUETOOTH.)  We can address other issues separately.

Having used this system for a couple of years:

1) There was no bluetooth signal when I first started using the system, it just appeared I'm estimating within the last year. If I hadn't wasted so much time holding and begging SS for help in the past I would bother to look it up, but I won't for now at least.  It so concerned me this unknown "SS3" bluetooth signal that I could see @50 yards from my home, and it didn't require a password, that I was taking screenshots, checking my data usage and checking devices on my router, all well documented and copied.  (So again throw out your camera assumptions, that is not what I am basing my info on, perhaps simply an additional issue. .

2) Customers and even non customers as I have seen in forums on other sites are questioning what this unknown SS3 bluetooth signal is. I'm not the only one.

3) Even someone as tech illiterate as I know that bluetooth is extremely vulnerable, ESPECIALLY when it is not password protected.

4)It seems that other customers were surprised by this,  as apparently were as employees, because several CS reps told me that SS "does not use bluetooth."  Hence the reason I said customer service "long denied." Only because one of the big store advertisements calling the system "SS3" did I associate it, and while on a customer service call after replacing my base station twice in a matter of weeks for this a a variety of performance issues, while removing the "SIM" did I note the bluetooth signal go away, and yet customer service still stated "I don't know, but SS doesn't use bluetooth."

5)Why did SS customers have to find and figure this out on their own? Except for a couple of threads,(lately seemingly to do with the doorbell (that I don't have) there is no acknowledgement or notification in SS's many questions and answers section(s).

6)"Sure it's possible," "Likely"  "unlikely" aren't answers or reassuring words.  Systems get hacked, some malicious, some just because they can, . maybe. Maybe this is a good opportunity to educate SS employees as well as customers. Maybe it's a good time to check into password protection.? Maybe two step verification if someone connects to the bluetooth signal? Customer's questions/concerns could be a way to help the company see it's own vulnerabilities, if they care to.

"CO" had a valid point in that a security system bluetooth is advertised, and why for goodness sake did "CO" or I have to do sleuthing to figure this out? Thanks for asking the question CO.  Customer service didn't know what customers were figuring out and are still trying  to figure out how to protect themselves.  

17 Messages

Il y a 15 d

Recently installed the latest software update and the blazing "SS3" device name no longer appears on my Bluetooth scan. It's been replaced by a string of letters and numbers that doesn't stand out as much if you have a lot of Bluetooth devices around. Curious if that string is fixed or varies from base to base. In the device I'm working on, we mix the serial number into the device name. The "Simplisafe" name is still in the Manufacturer data string. I didn't check it the first time but the Tx Power is down at 3 dBm which is nice to reduce the range the signal can be picked up at.

@worthing

Just browse this forum and read the threads and watch the YouTube videos about jamming Simplisafe systems with inexpensive radios. Having the Simplisafe system tell a potential burglar "Here I am! Jam me." just makes it too easy.

@feleciajms

Bluetooth doesn't have passwords. Bluetooth security doesn't work that way. That I can connect to my base station with my phone means little. If a password is asked for, it happens much later. Just like connecting to your bank over the internet. The connection is made first, then they ask for authentication like a password.