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Home Security Hacked: What you need to know to prevent it

Tests show some security systems can be disabled in a matter of seconds, potentially putting you and your family at risk.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 4:42 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Home security systems add a layer of protection for you and your family. But what if they aren’t secure? Consumer Reports found that some of them can be disabled in a matter of seconds with a process called “jamming.”

When a hacker blocks the wireless signal to a door, window, or motion sensor, it removes the alarm that your family relies on. That means burglars can access your home without triggering the alarm. The good thing is, these hacks are still considered rare. But, there’s things you can do to keep it from happening to you.

In it’s latest tests, Consumer Reports found five home security systems were susceptible to these types of attacks: Adobe Iota, Cove Home Security, Eufy 5-Piece Home Alarm Kit, Ring Alarm, and SimpliSafe the Essentials.

Abode and SimpliSafe can detect jamming and will alert the homeowner that happens, but the alarms won’t trigger. The other systems offer no user alerts.

After contacting all five of the security companies, only Eufy explicitly said it would fix the jamming risk in a future update. Cove said it “plans to add jam detection to its system next year, but likely as an optional feature.”

In it’s latest tests, Consumer Reports found five home security systems were susceptible to...
In it’s latest tests, Consumer Reports found five home security systems were susceptible to 'jamming.' Adobe Iota, Cove Home Security, Eufy 5-Piece Home Alarm Kit, Ring Alarm, and SimpliSafe the Essentials.(CBS46)

Consumer Reports says the good news is that jamming attacks are very rare, and security systems and other low-tech security solutions will often deter burglars.

If you own one of these systems, don’t feel the need to run out and replace it. Both the Ring and SimpliSafe systems perform well in other tests, including motion detection and ease of use and setup. Or consider a Kangaroo Front Door Security Kit, which wasn’t susceptible to attacks in the Consumer Report test.

If you want to beef up your home security system, consider adding some security cameras to the mix. They can record what’s happening and are not easily jammed.

No matter which alarm system you have, Consumer Report has one simple tip: Don’t use the branded yard signs or decals that came with it, because that could alert a hacker to your specific type of system. Instead, use generic signs and decals.

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