T

Fri, Oct 9, 2020 7:43 PM

Window sensors easily fooled

I have had the system for about 2 weeks.  My spouse and I have a 14 year old daughter making some very poor choices in life so we wanted something in place to know if she was trying to allow her boyfriend in our house while we slept at night (which is what we thwarted on 9/11) or potentially trying to sneak out at night.  Installation was not difficult although I had to use screws around 2 door frames to mount the "Entry Sensors" and we have had some issues with the adhesive sticking on some of the windows.  To this point we had been pretty happy with the system.  

So today because my kids are pretty smart, I decided to do what I should have done before I bought this system in searching about ways the system can be hacked.  Much to my chagrin, there were several YouTube videos showing two different methods to bypass your system.  One uses a $2 device that sends a signal on the same frequency as your product.  But even more alarming was the video that shows how to bypass one of these entry sensors with a simple magnet and a piece of tape.  Unfortunately, entry sensors are the method I used because my wife was concerned our cats might trigger motion sensors and after seeing this video, I wish I had gotten 2 of them for upstairs and downstairs because it is true.  And the worst thing is you can bypass it even when the system is armed and the magnet doesn't even have to be on the side of the sensor that faces the existing sensors magnet - you can tape it right over the little LED light on the front and come and go as you please.  And this was just a simple 5 cent craft store magnet that worked like a champ on the door.  So now it appears we will have to dish out another $60+ to buy two motion sensors after spending $300 already.  But I can't put a motion sensor in her room so I may have to come up with another alternative for the window in her room although I suspect we would hear that because the screens are a nightmare to remove even in daylight thanks to double hung windows and full length screens.  

So to those of you out there purchasing this for the same reason I did to restrain teenagers from poor choices, beware!  

And as a side note:  For those of you that are considering giving your kids smart phones, beware because that has what has opened Pandora's box with our kids.  Wish I had never done it now.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

2 y ago

@TroxlerFamily many years ago I was a volunteer student guide at the university I attended, a private Catholic institution.  On the tour a father loudly told his wife "Mary is going her. No coed dorms and they will keep an eye on her."  I told him, politely at the end of the tour if that was the reason he wanted his daughter to go to the school, he better make another choice based on what went on in the non "coed" dorms.

I, and many others, have tested ourselves the many sites who claim of vulnerabilities. One with SS2 not being unencrypted, was true but in practice hard to exploit.  The invisible fence exploit was bull, and SS3, which is encrypted, will not be compromised with a garage door open key fob unless you know the exact line of site between the sensor in question and the base.  As far as the magnets, yes, if an intruder can see them, a magnet may work but my glass breaks, motion sensors etc make it more difficult.  And in your scenario, the intruder has an insider to assist...your offspring.

SS, or any system for that matter, is not a babysitter.  I do wish you best on controlling your kids.

2 Messages

My issue with the magnets is trying to keep them inside or from opening doors to let the boyfriend inside while we sleep.   A simple 30 second search on YouTube showed this.  If I had known this in advance i would have bought motion sensors.  

Thanks for the feedback though.  I never had delusions this was going to be the catch all but unless you are willing to tear apart your house to hard wire with professional sensors is not going to work.

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

As captain alludes to, these systems aren't geared to protect against inside jobs so to speak.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

Technology will never solve behavior problems (or at least not for long).  And behavior problems left "untreated", tend to lead to worse problems.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

Just an aside, those hard wired "professional" magnetic sensors are also easy to circumvent from the inside, as are the "professional" jamb switches.

8 Messages

2 y ago

what about installing a motion sensor on the outside of the house so that if anything breaks the sensor (climbing in the window) sets the alarm? Put it high enough on the side of the house (assuming the window is a 2nd+ floor) so that it can only be reached with a ladder.

1 Message

2 y ago

Totally agree with the phone.  We learned that lesson a couple of years ago.

Here is what we did.  Get a SmartThings hub with sensors for the doors/windows you want to monitor.  Also get some smart lights to put in your bedroom (Philips Hue are the easiest to integrate).  Install the system and then setup an automation for the sensor to turn on the smart lights you use.  But here is the catch.  Do not set it for when the sensor is open or closed.  SmartThings sensors have vibration sensors built into them.  Use the automation to trigger if vibration is detected to turn on the smart lights.  You can also get a siren if you want.  This way when the sensor detects movement (opening, being removed, etc.) it will execute the automation.  

We have this on our kids windows.  But you can also use them for other things.  We have one on our washing machine that alerts us when the washer is done.  

Hope this helps.  Kids are way too smart these days.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

"motion" sensors (at least SS ones) are not really motion sensors, but "change in heat" sensors.  Thus they are not designed for, and usually don't work in, a non-stable temperature environment like outdoors.  And no other brand of exterior sensor will integrate with SS.  Still, the idea of putting SOME kind of alarm on the outside has merit.  Just be aware that a sensor inside is easy to defeat from the inside, and a sensor outside is easy to defeat from the outside.

1 Message

2 y ago

If you insist on a technological fix, I suggest an outside camera or two. As someone who frequently circumvented anything my parents tried to do - and that was with my native wit, no internet, good luck!