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Monday, February 27th, 2023 7:25 AM

SimpliSafe system can it be jammed? What is SimpliSafe doing about it?

I was thinking about this issue after reading another community post on here about it and wondered if it might be true, so I looked out on internet to see if anyone investigated this and came across a guy's youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgP0uy_QUvA which he demonstrates how the sensors communicating with base station can be jammed and thus not permit the base station from transmitting alarm signal. He tested this theory with a 5 watt handheld radio tuned to the SimpliSafe MHz frequency to prove that yes it can be fooled and not trigger alarm.  Let's face it, crooks can be crafty and if this video holds true, it puts doubt on the SimpliSafe system?  After watching video, I wondered what if a crook got into someone's house using the jamming method and instead of letting off the radio transmitter, they kept it held down whole time going through house and might be able to ransack a house of valuables and make it out without the alarm sounding. In past post, there was response from SimpliSafe mentioning that if this happened, the system would send out a txt message about interference but not for sure if this is the case or not? What do you say SimpliSafe? 

Also another interesting post was asked, what if a burglar got into the house and quickly found the base station before alarm went off and destroyed it or took out batteries and unplugged it? The response I read was disheartening cause SimipliSafe said that the monitoring center would not receive alarm signal and thus would not know that there was a break in occurring. Any responses to this SimpliSafe as to how the system would still protect one's home if this occurred? 

I think if only SimpliSafe system was made to communicate like a garage door opener which uses rotating radio signals to communicate, maybe it would be much harder for crooks to know what MHz frequency to block and thus catch those crafty thieves. I think it would be a good idea to hide the base station behind or in something to conceal it from potential thieves but not in a manner that would interfere with it signal transmissions with the sensors. An idea is to have the base station connected to a battery backup unit in case one would be out of power for more than a day.  

I just have to say that my experience with SimpliSafe responses when I had times the alarm went off for over a minute, of my doing and no one from the monitoring site called me to ensure that everything was ok. Nor did I get calls from them when I put my system into testing mode.  How other people can sit there on youtube videos or postings and say that SimpliSafe reaches out to them in these cases to ensure everything is ok, beats me. When I called SimpliSafe, they said regarding my alarm going off which was on for a minute or so, that it was not on long enough to trigger a response to them to contact me.  Has anyone watched those criminal segments on TV shows like 20/20 that demonstrates how an experienced crook and be in and out of a home with many valuables in under 5 minutes? Come on SimpliSafe I think anytime an alarm goes off for whatever reason, that the monitoring center should respond right away with phone call to the registered account person, not wait however many minutes their threshold time is before any actions. SimpliSafe please advise regarding your alarm action plans and how you respond to system monitoring site notifications? 

I'm not intentionally putting down SimpliSafe, heck all security systems are not without fault but just wanted to bring up some important factors people need to know about their system and ask SimpliSafe their response to them and ask what is planned in the future to help secure their system?  Otherwise I like this their system which is a good do it yourself one that is well customizable with a good interface. Yes I do worry about the above issues but think of it this way, how many bad guys go around with handheld radios trying to block your security system, most I would say are the smash and grab type. 

Official Response

Community Admin

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5.2K Messages

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80 Points

1 year ago

As usual, the Captain is on point. I will say that jamming is certainly always going to be a concern for all wireless systems. That's why ours features intelligent jam detection, which can detect potential jamming attempts and send notification to you. And of course, if the cameras do use WiFi frequencies that are different from the local radio that the sensors use - so you'll be able to check in on the property and spot right away if there are intruders.

As for finding the Base Station and destroying it - the unit itself is designed to hide when an alarm is triggered, turning off all light and sound. And if an intruder ever managed to find the Base Station before the countdown completes, that actually triggers the alarm immediately!

Of course, as the Captain says, it's also good practice to set almost all of your Entry Sensors to Instant Trigger. That will bypass the countdown and trigger the alarm immediately, leaving literally zero time for an intruder to react.

Finally, it sounds like you've heard of what we call the grace period. That is, immediately after a full alarm event begins, there is a period of time where you're able to disarm your system, and if you do, the Monitoring Service will not initiate a call. Based on our data, a significant number of false alarm cancellations happen between 30 and 60 seconds after an alarm. We're striking a balance between getting you the help that you need, and preventing false alarms and false dispatches - which represent a significant drain on your local authorities' resources (and can even lead to extremely costly fines!). 

75 Messages

@davey_d​ You state “And if an intruder ever managed to find the Base Station before the countdown completes, that actually triggers the alarm immediately!”. Can you please elaborate on this?  How does a burglar simply finding the base station cause it to trigger the alarm?  From my own testing, unplugging the base station during the entry delay countdown will cancel the entry delay and attempt to send the alarm signal to Monitoring and phones immediately. However, completely destroying the base station during entry delay in which both main and battery power are cut at or nearly at the same time, will prevent the base from sending the alarm signal. There are other ways to defeat the base station without destroying it mentioned by other forum member which I won’t repeat here. I tend to agree with @captain11 that it’s good practice to hide your base station out of sight so that a burglar is unlikely to spot it or find it during the entry delay period. 

Community Admin

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5.2K Messages

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80 Points

Yes, unplugging will cancel the countdown for the Entry Delay and trigger the alarm immediately. The Base Station is pretty tough! It is extremely unlikely that you could destroy it quick enough to stop the alarm.

And even if that were ever to happen, as Captain says we strongly suggest that you set up _layers of security_ –  for example, a camera that can catch the intruder and alert you before they even get to the Base Station.

Captain

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5.7K Messages

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130 Points

1 year ago

@AvgOwner The video you are referencing is two years old and has been discussed at length many times on different threads here in the community. If you use the search tool you will find them. Summary: Spoiler alert: you can sleep well at night.  I purchased one of the transmitter models referenced in another video and proved (at least to myself) that unless the intended intruder knows the exact location of my sensors, sorry, it doesn't work to defeat the system.  A larger wide band source, possibly, but the base will warn me of interference dectected.  In my tests with some friends and neighbors, all failed. I did successfully get past two sensors (1 door, 1 window) but did get nailed by a 3rd and I do know where they are all located.  

BTW, the "invisible fence" hack definitely doesn't work for sure.

Update: Sorry, didn't address destroying the base.  All of my intrusion sensors are set to "instant trigger" except one for entry on the garage/kitchen door. Even there, the settings for home enter/exit delay is 0/0 seconds so has the same effect as instant trigger. Getting to my hidden base with no sound and no light settings makes it highly improbable it will be destroyed before sending the alarm signal. (Everyone I know that has SS - and that's over 3 dozen - do the same and laugh at the commericals when the base is in front of the family room picture window lit up like a Christmas tree and the family sitting in front of it like a bunch of idiots)

One last item: installing the system with "layers of protection" is another step to prevent threats. Interior closets, drawers etc with sensors in unlikely areas also helps to overcome intruder counter measures.

(edited)

3 Messages

@captain11​ Thanks for the info, glad to know that there is others out there that take interest in their security and safety and investigate products. I am new to this community chat and sure as you say could find several postings out here on this subject matter. Best way to know for sure about something is to figure it out yourself, in this case testing the system.

75 Messages

1 year ago

@davey_d So even with all sensors set to instant trigger, Monitoring will wait 30-60 seconds (or more?) after a sensor is triggered before calling primary contacts to verify the alarm?  I honestly haven’t timed their response during testing but believe it’s been under one minute.  

So if we’re using entry delay, it means that Monitoring response will be delayed by up to the amount of time of the entry delay?  In other words, Monitoring doesn’t receive the alarm signal until the base station sends it. So for fastest response and to give burglar least amount of time possible, we should set all sensors to instant trigger and not use the entry delay?

Community Admin

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5.2K Messages

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80 Points

@Boring_Joe​ you're thinking of two separate things here.

The Entry Delay is the countdown after a sensor has been tripped, that allows you time to enter and type in your PIN when you enter your home. At the end of the countdown, the sirens will start blaring, and the signal will be sent to Monitoring at the same time.

The Instant Trigger setting for each sensor bypasses that Entry Delay.

Once the signal is sent to Monitoring, that is the start of the Alarm Event. There is a grace period to give you time to cancel the alarm event if you need to. At the end of that period, the professional monitoring agent will initiate the call to you.

At the same time, the Alarm Event will also set off an Alarm Text. If you respond to that text message right away, that will bypass the grace period and call sequence. So if you respond to the text with an "H" at the 15 second mark, the monitoring agent won't even call you, they'll call your local police right away.

Captain

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5.7K Messages

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130 Points

@Boring_Joe​ Your post pretty much nails it.  During alarm events in the past, I can tell you at least for my wife and I 30 seconds is long enough to wait for a call from the monitoring station. Not quite happy SS has recently stretched that to up to a minute.  Not using instant trigger would make that call delayed to an unexceptalbe dealy level for us.

3 Messages

1 year ago

A lot of interesting talk going on here but its still disheartening to know that a signal jammer can be used to block SimpliSafe system communications thus nothing else matters if a system cannot communicate to signal an invasion is occurring, as shown in this guy's youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/@AdvancedProcrastination.  Yes, there might be a signal txt message sent out by system that it detected interference but if a person doesn't hear or see the txt than this measure is no good at protecting your home by itself. I would think the whole purpose of a home alarm system that is monitored 24/7 is to protect your home when you are away and assuming that you have no communication. Also, yes if you are aware of something going on you can look at cameras you have in or out of your house to verify any activity but you better have a concealed camera system or have it backed up to cloud service cause they could easily just take your camera if it has a micro SD card in it and thus you have no evidence or they can take your NVR.  

Captain

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5.7K Messages

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130 Points

@AvgOwner​ Not to split hairs but the video's claim the wireless system can be jammed with a remote is BS, as I proved at least to myself in my own testing.  Unless I specifically put the remote between the sensor and the base in the direct line of site, the alarm went off. Period.  Commerical grade wide area jammers could be a different story but sorry, any system can be ultimately defeated.  I will sleep fine tonight, and any other night, with my SS3 system.

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