Hacking garage door: Facts you need to remember and how you can eliminate this type of risk
It isn’t a secret that a garage door is the weakest and the most important link in the security of your house. First of all, you have valuable items in a garage. Then you have a door that leads to your house. Imagine a scenario in which a burglar will penetrate the garage. He will easily get into the house despite the fact you have the latest alarm system.
Hacking garage doors and garage door openers is a sad reality. But, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent this from happening and to protect yourself. Don’t ever forget that a garage door opener uses digital technology and wireless systems meaning that a burglar can easily hack the system when needed if you have a weak system of course. There are countless options on how you can hack this system but there are even more methods you can use to protect yourself. All of that will be mentioned and explained below.
First garage door openers and safety precautions
The first garage door opener was invented in the United States in the 20s and it took the entire country like a storm. This system was basic and it had a wired keypad. A user will reach the keypad from the car, type the code and open the door. Eventually, we moved to wireless technology.
Wireless technology allowed us to use a remote control that could be used from the car. Now you don’t have to enter the code each time you want to open the garage door and the entire process was much easier. The problem here was the fact most brands used the same codes. This simply meant that if you buy 10 remote controllers one of them will open your garage door. Burglars soon realized that and they exploited the system and gained easy access to the garages.
The solution became available in the dip switch technology. What this means is that each system has 8-12 switches that must be positioned in the same order on the remote controller and the garage door opener in order to open the door. There were between 256 and 4.096 possible combinations. Burglars found this system complicated to hack, but they noticed that computers can do it within seconds. It was a decent safety system for a short period of time, but eventually, it had to be replaced and upgraded.
Samy Kamkar’s hacking method
You may have heard of Samy Kamkar. He was a famous hacker who discovered that he can open fixed code garage door openers within 10 seconds using Mattel toy. He basically discovered that there are limited possible combinations and he modified the toy to use these codes. Most of the garage door openers were affected by this hack.
You should check does your system has this technology. If it uses dip switches (open the remote and look for the 8-12 switches) you should upgrade the system as soon as possible. It is likely that someone can open your garage door within seconds using this cheap toy and this simple method. There are still modified toys of this kind that can be found online for $10 or even less. It is important to add that you can call the manufacturer of your garage door opener and ask them about the technology that particular unit uses. Almost all garage door openers designed and made after the year 1993 don’t use this technology.
Rolling code technology
The first rolling code technology was bulletproof for some time. It uses a new code each time you open or close the garage door so the system won’t use the same code two times, meaning a burglar can’t obtain the code and use it. This system is also known as hopping code technology and it was reasonably successful. Although, the next upgrade made the system so much better.
“man-in-the-middle” hacking method
This method worked and still works on older systems with rolling code technology. It was developed by Samy Kamkar as well. The hacking method uses a jammer to interfere with the remote controller. Once it is activated it will prevent the link between the remote controller and the garage door opener. The code will be trapped by the middle man or in this case a burglar. This made it possible to literally obtain a code and use it to open that very garage door.
The upgrade made this hacking method useless by implementing fast expiring codes. It simply means that the code will expire within seconds or an even shorter period of time and you will have to use another code. It sounds simple and it is, but it made “man-in-the-middle” hacking method obsolete and useless.
You need to check does your system has this advantage. Call the manufacturer or the seller and ask them about the rolling code technology and the expiring code upgrade. It is possible that you have to upgrade the firmware on the unit to get this system. If it isn’t available for your old unit, make sure to replace it with a brand new garage door opener.
Internet hacking method
These days garage door openers use the internet to allow the users to connect to the unit itself and control it. Sadly, this also means that a hacker can connect to the network and use it to open the garage door. It is rare and the risk is relatively low but there is still some threat here.
In order to protect yourself the most, you need to invest in a firewall. This is a system that will detect all malware and all hacking attacks and block them instantly. You need a firewall in your router, the smartphone if possible and in the garage door opener. By using all of these precautions you will be certain that your garage and your house will be safe.
If you are interested in how to get the ultimate protection in 2019 and in the future, continue reading. Investing in the new garage door opener is the first and the most important thing you can do for your protection. A new system will be immune to hacking and will help you stay perfectly safe. The second thing is to invest in a separate lock between the house and the garage. By using these two methods you will be 100% safe. See more about garage safety and security.