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Thu, Mar 1, 2018 6:50 AM

Base Station no longer 'SmashSafe'? (removed from website)

I noticed the 'SmashSafe' description changed on your website this month.

http://web.archive.org/web/20180210023121/http://simplisafe.com/
'An intruder can damage the keypad or Base Station. Doesn't matter.'

http://simplisafe.com today:
'An intruder can damage the keypad. Doesn't matter.'

Why did this change? Is the Base Station no longer considered 'SmashSafe'?

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

Test 3 is a duplicate of the other two testers.  No alarm signal, no call from monitoring.  This has been the point all along, it does not appear to be smash-safe protection.  The omission of that phrase from their website is telling, but ask yourself why they can't communicate this to their customers, who are paying for what they were led to believe is smash-safe protection.  If a firmware update could correct this, then fine, but we can't even get firmware updates!

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

" I suppose it's possible that COPS didnt call me because they had called twice 2 minutes prior and we told them we were testing."

It is NOT clear if COPS got the signal but DIDN'T call back because they had JUST TALKED to the customer who told them that they were testing their alarm system.  

What they should have done is tell COPS that they are going to do one more test and that COPS should call if they see an entry sensor tripped (ie, treat the next alarm signal like an ordinary signal).

That's why you can't trust everything you see here because there are almost always ambiguities and information can be quickly misunderstood or taken out of context.  It seems to me that the system is smash proof.  The hardware is smash proof because after the sensor was tripped, the base station sent out a signal that was logged.  All that is needed now is for COPS to call if they don't get a disarm code.

The hardware is fine and from what I was told from customer service, COPS does call if they get an entry sensor trip but no disarm code.

No firmware or hardware needs to be fixed.

1.2K Messages

Il y a 5 y

I was trying to be as objective as possible and include all my thoughts on the final outcome.  Since I obviously don't have access to SS or COPS I can only speculate.  As I stated before I was only doing this for the benefit of others.  

Someone else is more than welcome to run these tests themselves if they don't like the information those of us are giving that actually attempt them.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

I appreciate your tests, but in order to have a completely accurate test things have to be done systematically.  There are two aspects to the "smash proof" capability:
1.  Does the base station send out a signal, that is logged, the instant that a sensor is tripped?
2.  What does the dispatch center do when it gets the signal?  If they don't get a disarm signal back from the base station after a set number of time, do they ALWAYS call the contact?  If they call the contact but can't get anyone on the phone or they don't get the correct "safe word", do they call law enforcement?  In other words, what is the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for the dispatch center when they get a tripped sensor signal?

This is the question.  There is no question to Number 1.  The base station sends out a signal immediately when it is tripped.  This signal is logged and you can see it online.  If you can see the signal online from your account, then the dispatch center can obviously see it too.  

So the only question is, does the dispatch center call the contacts if a disarm signal is not received?  Assuming that the base station's link to the dispatch center is good (no cell signal interference or internet connection problem), if a sensor is tripped the base station sends out a signal instantly.  Destroying the base station after a sensor trip will be futile.

It seems then that the only thing that can defeat SimpliSafe is that if the base station is destroyed BEFORE a sensor is tripped.  The key then for SimpliSafe to work is that you have to get a sensor to detect an intruder.  That's the number one priority.  No sensor detection or trip, no alarm signal.

I'm not going to test my theory since it would require me to create a false alarm.  That is not really a good thing to do.  COPS already has plenty to do than to have customers intentionally creating false positive alarms.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

What part of three incredibly similar tests do you not get?  Sensors were tripped, batteries taken out of keypads and/or base stations within the countdown delays, siren sounding for at least one tester, not one of them received a call from COPS monitoring.  At least one of the testers (IIRC), checked their log, sensor was tripped, but there was no PIN/disarming logged.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

I suspect why SimpliSafe doesn't directly answer these questions about their system is because it's a bad idea for anyone in any security business to give the world your Operating Procedures.  Why?  Because the bad guys will then know where the weaknesses are in your system.  Telling everyone how they can defeat an alarm system is a BAD idea.

I think that SimpliSafe advertises their "smash proof" technology because it is common knowledge that bad guys routinely destroy keypads to disable alarm system since there are many systems that can be defeated in this way.  SimpliSafe advertises that smashing the keypad is futile as a marketing feature, lots of people will want to know if SimpliSafe protects against this scenario.

Alarm.com advertises their "smash and crash" proof alarm system:

"When your security system starts its countdown, Alarm.com takes note.  If the panel suddenly goes 'off-line' before sending either a 'disarm' or 'emergency' signal, Alarm.com reports a suspected Crash and Smash event to your home's central monitoring station.

A trained security professional assesses the situation and quickly alerts law enforcement if it's a crash and smash attack."

I think they have even patented it.  But SimpliSafe already has smash and crash capability because a SimpliSafe sends the sensor trip signal as soon as it occurs.  The SimpliSafe system does not rely on a second signal from the base station in order for the dispatch center to act.

So SimpliSafe is superior in this regard.

And if I were SimpliSafe, I probably would NOT go around advertising this.  Most bad guys have no idea how the various alarm systems work.  Only the professional thieves know things like this.  SimpliSafe's weak point is the same weak point of EVERY alarm system.  And that is detecting an intruder.  You need a sensor to detect an entry.  Or more specifically, you need to trip a sensor before the intruder can find the base station.  

So the best protection is to have a layered setup with the base station protected by multiple alarm sensors (e.g., entry sensor, motion detector, glass break sensor).  

But it seems extremely unlike that most intruders are going to know this information and even if they did, they won't be able to get around all the sensors.  The professional will almost always be able to defeat a security system.  But I'm sure that professional security companies know how to protect against the pro thief.  People who buy SimpliSafe are not the target of the Pro thief so I am very comfortable with SimpliSafe.

Destroying the base station is futile as long as a sensor detects the intruder first.

7 Messages

My reply to an earlier post by pkwz.

Alarm.com does not rely on a second signal for dispatch to act. The second signal is only telling them that you disarmed your system. Absent of any communication after the first signal is sent, and they treat it as an actual alarm. Trigger any sensor, instant or entry delay, it doesn't matter. The initial signal has been sent. That's what truly makes it a crash & smash system. I believe that the new SS3 system now operates the same way, although I wouldn't call SimpliSafe superior.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

"Test 2, instant triggered the alarm while set to away mode and set off the siren. 5 Seconds later I disabled the base by removing power and batteries. The base obviously shut up and the keypads became unresponsive of course. The extra sirens however kept blasting while COPs was calling us on the phone. We told them it was a test alarm."

1. They triggered the alarm.
2.  They disable the base 5 seconds AFTER the trigger.
3.  "COPS was calling us on the phone."

COPs called after the base station was disabled.  Is this not what this means?

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

Here's the thread with other testing:
https://simplisafe.com/forum/customer-support-forum/installing-and-using-simplisafe/any-info-on-this-smashsafe-fe

It is not smash-safe if the base station in fact is not sending a signal and the monitoring company does not call, and that there is no PIN/disarming event on a user's event log.

So if this happens in real life, and monitoring does not get a signal, there's no call - someone could get hurt because dispatch was not sent.

What simplisafe seems to be implying:  Hide your base station where even you cannot find it, see it, hear it, and set your sensors to instant trigger, and hope for an alarm signal and call from COPS monitoring.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

But that's not what happened here.  The sensor was triggered and then the base station was disabled.  The dispatch center called.  

This is also what I was told by the SimpliSafe rep on the phone.  And it makes sense since it is a known fact that all actions that occur to the keypad and sensors are transmitted to the log when they occur, not after some predetermined time period.

The SimpliSafe system does not rely on another signal from the base station telling the dispatch center that the system was not disarmed.  If a disarm signal is NOT received, the trigger is assumed to be REAL.  This is a very simple algorithm and I don't see what's so hard about understanding this.

People are spreading misinformation.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

People who are worried about bad guys smashing their base stations before the delay period expires are worrying about the wrong thing.  SimpliSafe must wait 30 seconds on any sensor signal before they can take any action.  This is an industry standard that stipulates that all alarms must allow time to be disarmed.  So entry delay or instant trigger sensors are treated the same--no law enforcement is called immediately if an instant sensor is tripped.  

The biggest problem with SimpliSafe and ALL alarm systems is that the intruder never sets off a sensor.  For example, if you put entry sensors on all your doors and windows and a motion detector to cover an area, what happens if no doors or windows are opened?  The intruder breaks a window and enters through the broken window frame.  

And what if your base station is placed in a space that is not protected by the motion detector, the intruder can then destroy your base station.  

Detection is the hardest problem since to get the best protection you also have to spend more money.  That's what people should be concerned with, making sure that a sensor is tripped.  This weakness is far more important than if SimpliSafe works if the bad guy destroys the base station.

But I'm convinced that it does work if the base station is destroyed after a sensor is triggered.  Feel free to disregard my opinion.  I'm going to go and buy a couple more entry sensors and I'll put my energy into designing the best possible sensor arrangement for my house.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

Read the thread, you can argue this your way all you like, it doesn't change the fact that two other testers and DP's third test did not produce a call from monitoring to confirm.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

We have no "facts" on whether or not SimpliSafe is smash proof (destroying base station after being triggered).  That's the problem with this and every forum. You can't trust anything that you read here.  There are conflicting pieces of information, facts, all over the place.

I just go on what SimpliSafe said to me.  Feel free to call SimpliSafe and speak with a customer service rep.  Just don't set off another false alarm since that does impact all the other people that rely on the dispatch center.

1.2K Messages

Il y a 5 y

Theres 2 scenarios here.  If the alarm actually starts blaring its too late for bad guy.  Cops are going to be called.  The 2nd scenario that people worry about is what if the bad guy kicks in the front door and the 30 second countdown begins, bad guy then finds and destroys the base before the alarm starts blaring.  In this case no COPs are coming.

If you are truly worried about it hide the base station.  Mines out in the open, about 9 feet up on top of a kitchen cabinet.  I know where its at and I also know how to disable it.  It would still be tricky for me to pull that off within 30 seconds.  

One could also set all the sensors to instant trigger.  Use the app or a keyfob to disarm when you come home.  When my cat sets off a motion sensor there is no 30 second delay.  If I chose to set my door up the same way then this scenario would not be possible.

Plus like I always say, crooks are stupid!  For any of this to occur a badguy is gonna need to be well versed in every single type of alarm system ever invented because until he enters my house he has no idea what brand alarm I have.  Another reason to not put SS stickers on the house.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

No one would have to test or set off false alarms if simplisafe would be forward and start communicating with customers (which means, give details about how their system is intended to work, and what to expect, and explain potential failures).  We have zero documentation or Q&A for SS3, everything learned is via users on this forum - they need to offer support for their product.  If it's a simple fix, great, but guess who is the only one who can communicate that - simplisafe!

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

---"The 2nd scenario that people worry about is what if the bad guy kicks in the front door and the 30 second countdown begins, bad guy then finds and destroys the base before the alarm starts blaring. In this case no COPs are coming."

This is false according to what COPS just told me in a phone call.  According to the COPS person, all trigger signals are treated the same, they wait for the specified delay period (in order to get the disarm code), and if they don't receive the disarm code then they call the contact, ect.

A sensor set to "instant" and an entry sensor that has a 30 second delay show up the same, they are both sensors that have been tripped.  In other words, COPS doesn't know if a sensor is set to "instant" or delay.  All signals are handled the same way.

So the only time that COPS won't call you and take action is if the Base Station is disabled (destroyed) BEFORE a sensor is tripped.

Call COPS up yourself to verify this.