simplistuff's profile

Sat, Jul 27, 2019 1:35 AM

New Amazon Review / Video: Simply Unsafe - Defeated with a Walkie-Talkie

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2O5CON79G2AJY

We still have this issue with SS3?  Apparently so.  Does SimpliSafe have a response?

Advocate

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635 Messages

3 y ago

Beautiful ad (though I could not make out hearing the URL)! Just kidding ;-)

Interesting, but I still am not worried about my system. The reason why is I do not advertise which alarm I use (I have another company's stickers and signs on windows). I have even covered the Keypad, so when unexpected/emergency visitors are required to enter my residence (contractors, plumbers, electricians, delivery people, etc.), they cannot tell either. My Base is hidden.

But, I also have cameras (wired, with 24/7 recording to hard drives) as well as something else I utilize but will not mention. I am not saying someone would not be able to possibly defeat my SimpliSafe alarm as described in the tutorial, I mean, video. But I would know even if they did as I have other means of protection in place.

In this day and age, you should never rely on one thing as a means of fortification. That goes for anything you can delete, lose, wipe, is hackable (digital) or can be stolen (paper documents).

I am almost certain SimpliSafe will not respond - unless it is in the form of an article or interview in a tech magazine. Customers will never hear a word.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

3 y ago

I've seen that, and was hoping Seven has and would give his opinion.

SS has a "response" (if you can call it that) on their facebook page, look under "Visitor Posts", several posts down, posted by "Ryon Hinson", and SS's response.   The guy who did that video (from Richmond Tech & Telecom) has a post right below Ryon Hinson's with the video as well.

7 Messages

Thanks much. I'll check it out.

1.3K Messages

3 y ago

For the most part anything that operates wirelessly can be jammed, so to speak.

The consideration here is the odds the crackhead about to do a breakin would employ such gear/tactics (they've probably already sold the stolen radio, LOL), or a more "professional" crook that knows how to defeat just about any consumer-type system.

Then you have the smash and grab type who don't really care if the system does alarm because it's likely there will be some minutes until the cops get there anyway.

Captain

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4.6K Messages

3 y ago

Over the years with SS2 and SS3 I have read articles and have used walkie talkies,  dog invisible fences and other radio emitting devices and have not experienced issues.  I can tell you ham operator equipment is unknown territory as there are none of them in my neighborhood that I know (I did ask around).  Once I did have interference reported on my SS2 system, per SS support, and they remotely somehow addressed the issue and it didn't happen again.

So for now, with whoareu99 and will wait for more information.

166 Messages

3 y ago

Being that Ring is now an Amazon company, let's see that same test with the Ring alarm system.

I just tried that test with 3 different Walkie-Talkies on 20 different frequencies and SimpliSafe worked just fine.

180 Messages

3 y ago

I'm not very knowledgeable about criminal ways, but I suspect that most will go for the easy target.  So, unless I've got something they really want, hopefully, having an alarm system will be enough to deter them to go to another house.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

3 y ago

I did see that video, from an earlier post here on the board, and replied there.  Short answer, whether or not it works as claimed, it is not a major concern for most people.

I think this particular post is bogus.  Although the video it is based on may be technically accurate but somewhat impractical in use, the post itself has some serious flaws.  

"This radio can operate on the order of over a mile, so an accomplice could even be sitting blocks away, interfering with the signal. In addition,"   Wrong.  A radio strong enough to affect the system will have a range much greater than 1 mile, and it will only work in close proximity to the system.

"the SimpliSafe system uses a radio frequency that is primarily used for amateur (ham) radio."   Wrong (hopefully).  The frequencies which Hams use are only for Ham use.  So either SS does not use any ham frequency or they are violating FCC regulations.  Note that Hams track down rogue transmissions for fun (known as a "fox hunt") and the penalties for these transmissions are very severe.

"This is a critical flaw that SimpliSafe desperately needs to fix."  Even if it is a "flaw" as opposed to an inherent weakness in any wireless technology, it cannot be practically fixed.  Change the frequency of SS?  It would screw up everyone's system but can still be hacked by a change in the frequency of the transmitter.  Use frequency skipping?  That would work, but each and every piece of hardware would probably have to cost 10 times as much.

Sorry for the delay, but our AC died and we were hiding in the bedroom with a portable unit, so no computing for a couple of days.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

3 y ago

Thanks so much, Seven, very informative.

Sorry about the a/c - hope you get it fixed/replaced, this heat wave it awful right now!

8 Messages

3 y ago

First, this "vulnerability" will be with ANY wireless system out there, be it Ring etc. or any wireless device that uses a radio frequency. This is nothing new and has always been the case ever since wireless communication has existed, simple as that. The fact that this person is using this to make it sound like it is only a SS3 issue is trying to scare up sales for their own company (which probably uses wireless devices itself and is vulnerable to the same attack, GASP!).

Second, the thief would have to buy a VHF/UHF radio that they would have to then program the EXACT frequency (or close enough that bleed over would impact the SS3 frequency) and chances are, if the thief is going this far then they will be doing enough research no matter what system you use.

So the chances of this being used in the wild: pretty much zero.

I don't know if SS3 has an exact locked frequency that they use or if each base station is allowed to choose a frequency inside of a set range. If it's the latter then that makes this attack even more difficult and would require the "thief" to be close enough to monitor the range and get the exact frequency your system is using, once again this type of "thief" would be doing the exact same for other systems if they were that dedicated to break into a specific house.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

3 y ago

Colt, yep got a new unit.  The old one was 19 years old and the motor went out (again).  It had "illegal" coolant (ie can no longer be replaced/added) and was way past it's life time, so although I could have repaired it, it would have cost a lot and would likely break down again fairly soon.  The new unit seemed the wiser choice.  Now have to figure out how to pay for it.

It was brutal when down with 108 degrees outside.  At least I got a chance to experience a lot of "Temperature warnings" from the SS temp sensor.  

By the way SS, the thermostat the AC company installed was an Ecobee, so here is another request for that support you can ignore  :-)   Not that I care much, since I like my security systems to concentrate on security rather than automation.

Captain

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4.6K Messages

3 y ago

@sevensiamesecats. got new Trane furnace and AC last year and insisted on the ecobee4, it is a great unit.  Has 3 remote sensors and would be great to connect to my SS3 and 4 echos.  More important, however, would be Simplisafe to support scenes, do if there was an alarm, one of my now 8 lights would go on inside and outside the house to make it bright as day.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

3 y ago

Seven, glad to hear you have a new one now, hopefully it will last another 20 years (and longer)!

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

3 y ago

Colt, Got an Amana.  10 years parts and labor warranty, 99 year compressor and coil warranty.

Captain, I had a Trane and it worked well for 10 years (the warranty).  Motor died in year 11 and was pricey to fix.  It failed again in year 12, but the previous year motor was still under warranty.  Then it made it to year 19, which is pretty good for an AC.  In Tucson.  I could have fixed it for $1700, but probably would have failed again shortly and any problem with the now illegal coolant could not be addressed.  The same company would have replaced it, but I was not impressed with their installation skills.  I found another company, who checked and measured everything (4 hour process) to determine the right unit, and found my ductwork was full of holes, reducing my efficiency to about half.  Their quote included duct sealing, so I went with it.  Ten times the cost of band aid repairs, but a tenth of the worry in future.

My Ecobee only has 1 external sensor.  Doesn't seem to list a model, unless it is "Pro".  It does have voice control/Alexa, so is probably higher than ecobee3 lite.  I don't know how I like it (freaks me out when the display seems to change every time I walk by), but it is certainly better than the one it replaced.

257 Messages

3 y ago

This young man is nothing more than a snake oil salesmen just like the individual on YouTube Allstar Security. Every wireless system no matter who makes it can be hacked/defeated. Based on his low budget basement production studio like all the others just upset because of the market share SimpliSafe has.

Captain

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4.6K Messages

3 y ago

@ sevensiamesecats, you will come to like your ecobee4 very much.  Sounds like you made a solid choice with all of the detail and care that went into your installation. At that many years, your old system owed you nothing.  I have a two story colonial, tract home, so the duct work is suspect and the temp difference is about 2-3 degrees between floors. Found that the 2 extra sensors I put in does a nice job of balancing the house, and you have the flexibility to configure what sensors are active in home/sleep and away modes.  I don't bother with the away mode but do have one sensor on the first floor go offline in sleep mode so it is cooler upstairs where we sleep.  To be honest, based on your past posts I am a bit surprised you let a Echo device into your home. :-).  As previously noted, including the echobee, we now have 4 echo devices in our house. My wife and I use them extensively.

Would love to have SS allow Echo "Scenes" support so I can have my 8 lights go on if the alarm goes off. Would light up the first floor and outside of the house like a Christmas tree.