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alejoviade's profile

Friday, June 7th, 2024 6:42 PM

System vulnerability

In the past 24 hours, I came across what I believe is a very important safety issue with the SimpliSafe Home Security System.

I have been a very happy customer of SimpliSafe since 2015 but now, I’m very concern about how fail-proof the Home security System actually is.

We had taken some of the motion sensors off the walls during a recent paint job at our house.

When it was time to put the sensors back where they belonged, I realized they had all been mixed up. Now we couldn’t figure out which sensor was supposed to go in the living room, which in the kitchen, etc.

I decided then to use the app to figure it all out. I started to take the batteries off the sensors one at a time and wait for an announcement, such as “living room sensor lost power” or “living room sensor lost connection ” and that way, be able to identify each sensor.

To my surprise, that alert never came on in my app.

I then decided to log into my SimpliSafe account and see what the dashboard was showing there.

I was shocked to see that the online dashboard showed every sensor’s status as OK. There was no  mention of any failure throughout the system.

I immediately called SimpliSafe technical support. I explained the situation to the CSR, and she asked me to do a test by arming the alarm in Home Mode (and eventually in Away Mode) to verify if the app would give any warning regarding the offline sensors.

There were no alerts or warnings.

The CSR asked for a few minutes to consult about this issue with some of her peers.

When she came back, she indicated that this was an expected behavior in that the system could take 1 to 2 hours to actually announce the problem with the sensors.

I replied that, in my opinion, that was a problem since I could potentially be leaving the house, arming the system, and believing that I was fully protected while this would not be true.

I asked for a supervisor to elevate this issue further, but our connection was mysteriously cut off.

I called SimpliSafe again. A different CSR this time; I went through the entire explanation once again, but this time, the CSR agent did agree with me that the system was not operating correctly.

The CSR proceeded to connect me to a supervisor, to whom, once again, I told the whole issue.

The supervisor reverted the CSR comment regarding the system being at fault, instead, he indicated that the system would indeed, take up to 2 hours to show any faults.

I expressed my concerns regarding the vulnerability of the system and he proceeded, in a very nonchalantly way, to tell me that the case would be elevated to some sort of Department who would eventually deal with this problem.

Not happy with this rather “bogus” answer, I asked for a ticket number so I could follow up with this case, but none was provided under the premise that no ticket would be created until the said Department’s desk received the said "problem" notification.

Not comfortable with such approach to what I considered, (and still do), a major flaw in the system, I called SimpliSafe once again. This time, I called the Customer Service desk.

After explaining all that had happened to the CSR, he proceeded to provide an email in order to directly contact the escalation team.

I wrote en email to them yesterday regarding this problem

This morning, I verified that, even though more than 16 hours have elapsed since the failure of the sensors, there were still no messages alerting me of all the sensors that had lost power. Moreover, not even an indoor camera that I had disconnected during troubleshooting the day before was showing any indication of failure.

I also called SimpliSafe again and talked to yet another technical support agent. This time, I was told that the system does not take 1 to 2 hours to actually recognize and announce the fault of one or many sensors, but actually it takes 24 hours!!!!!!

To this hour, I have yet to receive a call or even an acknowledgment to my email of this serious security bug in the system.

To summarize:

Note: what you see below is not based on my assumptions on how the system may behave. These statements below are derived from direct conversations with multiple CSR at various departments within the SimpliSafe organization.

  1. One or multiple sensors can fail at any time but you will receive NO warning of such failure until at least 24 hours after the failure occurred.
  2. If the sensor(s) malfunction, they will not operate at all, and thus, you will get no warnings from the said sensor(s)
  3. By the time you start getting any messages that any sensor(s) malfunctioned, and I’m not certain that you will at this point, you could be on your way on a trip, now not being able to provide any solution to the problem.
  4. If you do not have multiple sensors so that if one or more fail, the others can “take over,”, you will be out of luck if somebody breaks into your home
  5. If the sensor in question is located in a very sensitive area (let’s say a basement door), you will get NO warning of anybody breaking into your home, even if you are asleep and thinking you are secured because you armed your system.
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