‎Smash Protection for the Base Station | SimpliSafe Support Home
 
worthing's profile
Advocate

Advocate

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692 Messages

Sunday, October 29th, 2023 11:21 AM

1

Smash Protection for the Base Station

Given Davey's response in this post:

https://support.simplisafe.com/conversations/gen-3-simplisafe/breaking-base-station-blocking-signal-defeats-alarm/63b465db48a801744866db15

Please implement end to end "smash and crash" protection that takes into account the situation that Davey admits the SimpliSafe base station is susceptible to:

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.

Ideally there'd be some logic like:

- Base station notifies you all (not a person, but your system) that the countdown started

- In the event that the system doesn't hear anything from the base station in some period of time (As in, it's just open ended - the system said, I'm counting down but then you never heard anything else from it.) the system notifies a real person 

- Real person reaches out to homeowner to find out what's going on and if they can't be reached treats it as if the alarm went off and dispatches police

As it stands, if someone can get to a customers base station and smash it (but not unplug it) before the countdown ends and the alarm goes off, or even throw a Faraday Cage around it (and they make plenty of faraday cage bags that are more than big enough to cover your base station) they've defeated your entire system. It's worth noting that adding an ethernet port would also be helpful here as you could treat it like you already treat power - if the ethernet cable is unplugged (or the connection via that interface drops) while a countdown is in progress it could trigger the alarm.

Thoughts? Responses? (From SS) Other ideas? (From other customers)

Captain

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5.8K Messages

6 months ago

@worthing As I have posted in the past, for me personally, this is a solution in search of a problem. Why?

Home Mode: Entry/Exit delay is 0/0. All intrusion sensors (motions, entry, glass break) are set to instant alert. Done.

Away mode: exit 40 seconds, entry 20 (call SS and they will set it to whatever you want.) Again, base lights and voice all shutoff, dark and silent. Base is hidden somewhere. Good luck in 20 seconds.

Possible, yeah, but not likely.

Would I like SS to do this? Sure, but there are other items higher on my list I would like for them to address first.

....after thought. SS, if you want an easy way to address this, allow an intrusion sensor to alarm regardless of countdown state. Why? A base could be placed in secured location if a designated intrusion sensor goes off, an alarm state is set off regardless of countdown.

(edited)

Advocate

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692 Messages

@worthing As I have posted in the past, for me personally, this is a solution in search of a problem. Why?

Because it's a silly, stupid vulnerability that makes the system potentially less reliable.

Home Mode: Entry/Exit delay is 0/0. All intrusion sensors (motions, entry, glass break) are set to instant alert. Done.

Your requirements/use cases are not everyone else's requirements/use cases and vice versa. Just because you have a fix that works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone else. 

Away mode: exit 40 seconds, entry 20 (call SS and they will set it to whatever you want.) Again, base lights and voice all shutoff, dark and silent. Base is hidden somewhere. Good luck in 20 seconds.

To back up the point I'm trying to make above, hiding a base may not be an option for some people for any number of reasons. Maybe their sensors are just barely able to talk to their base station where it is and they can't move it w/o messing that up. Maybe their house/apartment is made of materials that drastically affect the range of their base station and tucking it in a cabinet, for example, exacerbates that issue. Maybe they can barely hear the base station at full volume as it is and hiding it in or behind something will make it even more difficult to hear. These examples are all taken from posts I've seen here and on Reddit more than a few times so they're "real world" and not just hypothetical examples.

Possible, yeah, but not likely.

Would I like SS to do this? Sure, but there are other items higher on my list I would like for them to address first.

Repeat after me: "My preferences aren't everyone else's and vice versa."  :)   Also I made no mention of a timetable of any sort, I just want them to add it to the list. 

(And let's be real, their fix / request list has quite a few items that have been requested for years. In some cases 3+ years and in at least one case, 5+ years. You shouldn't be worried about which stuff they get to first but rather if they get to it at all.)

....after thought. SS, if you want an easy way to address this, allow an intrusion sensor to alarm regardless of countdown state. Why? A base could be placed in secured location if a designated intrusion sensor goes off, an alarm state is set off regardless of countdown.

Instant trigger already exists but again, people may not be able to move their base station so it may be moot for them. Also while my request specifically mentions vulnerabilities where an intruder can physically access the base station they can still achieve the same effect (stopping the base station from sending an alarm once the countdown ends) with a signal blocker they can buy for $20-30 online. Adding an ethernet cable may stop that entirely which is also part of my request.

Ultimately SimpliSafe (or any other company in the same business) should make every reasonable effort to make their products and services as reliable and "tamper resistant" as possible. Asking customers to deal with these shortcomings themselves is not a good answer. Worse, they're relying on security through obscurity and aren't even making it clear to customers that this is a potential issue. (And we all know how well security through obscurity works, historically speaking.)

Captain

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5.8K Messages

@worthing As I posted "for me personally".  If not clear in my post, let me be as clear as possible. For me, in my opinon, in my instance. Others may have different opinions, needs, requirements etc.

75 Messages

6 months ago

+1  SimpliSafe should definitely have a feature like this.  All alarm systems should.  Some do.  What @captain11 describes is a workaround for a security vulnerability with the system.  It may work for some, but shouldn't be necessary.  I bet most customers will use the system in default way without even realizing this vulnerability exists.  That's not true security.  Possibly, security by obscurity.  The system should be as secure as possible by default using default settings.

The all-in-one design of the base and siren encourages customers to position the base in a visible and potentially vulnerable location.  IMO, any home security system hub should always be hidden and yes, connected over ethernet, too, with an antenna terminal for improved cellular reception.  The keypad should provide all the visual and audible alerts and should be located in a visible, central location.  Separate sirens should be used throughout the home.  The base siren, at its loudest setting, won't even wake us at night in its optimal location for cellular signal.  Next gen system should have base without siren/lights and perhaps have wireless pods with audible/visual alerts for system status, where customers can buy extra ones and place around the house.

In our setup, the optimal cellular signal is in a location that's vulnerable to this smash and destroy.  Hiding the base in another room weakens the cellular signal.  So we can't use entry delay and have everything on instant trigger.  We'd love to be able to use entry delay, but don't want to allow any time for a burglar to destroy the base before it sends the alarm signal.

Too many compromises need to be made with the current Gen3 system.

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