‎Breaking base station / blocking signal, defeats alarm? | SimpliSafe Support Home
 
TMark's profile

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023 5:28 PM

Breaking base station / blocking signal, defeats alarm?

If the base station was to be destroyed / signal blocked within the 30 second entry delay, would this defeat the alarm? 

Ideally, I'd expect it to send a signal to the monitoring center indicating the 30 second entry delay had begun, and if no second signal with "pin entered" is received, it would set off an alarm (on the monitoring center's end), and the customer would be contacted.

If the base station is required to send the alarm signal at the end of the 30 second entry delay, this means breaking the base station, or even blocking it's signal with something like aluminum foil would likely defeat the entire system. 

Hiding the base station seems like a reasonable solution, but could still be found. In my home it would also be hard to hide it somewhere that it would still get good signal to all of my sensors. Additionally the LED lights are a good indication for the user that the alarm has been set. Door chimes, alerts, and doorbell audio is all kind of necessary for the system to be used as well. So ultimately hiding the base station seems like a poor solution. 

Community Admin

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242 Messages

1 year ago

Hi @TMark 

Welcome to the community!

The Base Station has backup batteries that can keep it running for a day without the need to rely on your home's power. It also has a built-in cellular connection so it can stay linked to our monitoring centers, even without WiFi.

During the countdown phase, the Base Station hides by shutting off the indicator light and not making any sounds - which is why the countdown tones come from the Keypad. You can also set the sensors of your system to Instant Trigger to bypass this countdown entirely. 

Let me know if you have any other questions about your system or how alarms work in general with SimpliSafe. I'd be happy to help!

5 Messages

@alexandria_c​ So to be clear, breaking the base station, or blocking it's signal after the entry delay but before the alarm sounds would keep the monitoring center from ever knowing about a break in?

701 Messages

1 year ago

@alexandria_c 

The Base Station has backup batteries that can keep it running for a day without the need to rely on your home's power. It also has a built-in cellular connection so it can stay linked to our monitoring centers, even without WiFi.

The premise of @TMark 's question is what if something happened to the AC power and battery for the base station and that question hasn't been answered yet. So let's say someone kicks in the door, spots the base unit, gets to it and a) unplugs it and b) removes the battery (through force or finesse) so it has no power before it finishes its countdown to set off the alarm. What happens then? Have they defeated the alarm entirely because there's now no way for the system to talk to the monitoring service? Does something happen on your end that recognizes a countdown started but never finished and you all take action?

This is a legitimate and important question the community deserves an official answer to and that answer should also be incorporated into your documentation. Security through obscurity is never a good idea.

Community Admin

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5.5K Messages

1 year ago

@TMark ,

Yes, if an intruder was somehow able to completely destroy the Base Station before the actual alarm signal is sent, then Monitoring would not be able to know that there's an alarm in progress.

However, unplugging the Base Station will bypass the countdown and send the alarm signal immediately.

5 Messages

@davey_d​ Good to know about the immediate alarm if unplugged, but this still seems like a vulnerability that would be easily remedied if the alarm countdown and disarm were 2 separate signals.

Perhaps it would cause some false alarms if there was a missed disarm signal, but theoretically this seems like something that should be looked into. For all of the other vulnerabilities SS has thought of including battery backup/cellular, this seems like a fairly simple implementation. 

82 Messages

1 year ago

IMHO, that's exactly how any home burglar alarm system should work.  "Entry delay started" notification goes out immediately after a sensor on entry delay ("instant trigger" disabled with simplisafe) is triggered.  If the monitoring station does not receive a "system disarmed" signal before the entry delay countdown expires, it should be treated as an active alarm.

For anyone using entry delay, it may be a good idea to hide the base station out of sight in a location that still gets good wifi and cellular signal.  Either that or set all sensors to instant trigger and disarm the system by app or keyfob before entering the home.

1 Message

11 months ago

This seems like something that is an easy firmware fix to implement and makes the system way more secure to tampering during intrusion.

Can we get an acknowledgment this is something being looked into?

Thanks

(edited)

3 Messages

7 months ago

Any updates on this? This is disturbing information that I was not aware of when I bought my system last week, and will likely lead to my cancelling service. 

(edited)

Community Admin

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3K Messages

@pvalliere​ Our most recent response is still up to date. If the Base Station was completely destroyed during the Entry Delay it would stop the alarm signal; but the Base Station is tough and it's not easy to break it. And as mentioned by Davey, if an intruder unplugs the Base Station from power it will bypass the Entry Delay countdown and instantly trigger an alarm.

3 Messages

@emily_s​  are you being serious? Tough and not easy to break? You don’t have to break it. You literally have to simply twist the base station in one direction and then you can access the entire guts, circuit board, etc. 

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