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Can Burglars Hack My SmartĀ Locks?

One of the first questions anyone asks when learning about automated Smart Locks is, "Can a burglar hack my smart lock?"

The quick and transparent answer is, "Yes," and that's because anything that requires an encrypted password can, ultimately, be hacked. However, you could also ask, "Can my current, manual lock and dead bolt be hacked?" and that answer would not only be, "yes," but also, "yes, and it happens much more frequently!"

Smart Locks are More Secure Than Manual Locks

Manual locks and bolts can be picked - pure and simple. In fact, according to the 2015 FBI - Crime in the United States: Burglary report, of burglaries committed that year, "57.9 percent of burglaries involved forcible entry, 35.5 percent were unlawful entries, and 6.6 percent were attempted forcible entry." This means that the entirety of home burglaries attributed to forced entry began with lock picking and/or the breaking of a home's window or door.

Notice that none of those statistics reflected smart lock corruption via hacking? That's because thus far, there haven't been enough reported smart lock hacks, leading to a genuine burglary, to even score a single percentage point on the FBI's radar. In fact, to our knowledge at this publication date, there are no smart lock hacks that have led to any burglaries. Period.

The only successful hacks of Bluetooth-enabled locks (Smart Locks) were performed by professional "white-hat" hackers who are intentionally hired by companies and agencies to find existing weak spots so the said company/agency is informed and has the chance to repair the vulnerability and maintain more impenetrable security systems.

What the FBI's burglary statistics reveal is that smart locks, rather than standard, manual versions are a safer security bet.

Burglar Breaking into House

Which Smart Locks Cannot be Hacked?

So that begs the question, which Smart Locks are unable to be hacked and which ones are not?

Def Con is an annual, Las Vegas "Hacker" convention. There, hacker - and security - enthusiasts gather from around the world to find and discuss vulnerabilities in the tech industry. In 2015, presenters Anthony Rose and Ben Ramsey reported on 16 of the security industries most well-known smart lock manufacturers, reporting what they considered to be "bad news," in terms of the majority of smart lock models and their inability to provide adequate Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) security.

Working with only about $100-worth of hacking tools, Rose and Ramsey were able to find vulnerabilities in 75% of the industry's most well-known products, including Mesh Motion, Quicklock, Plantraco, iBlulock, Ceomate, Elecycle, Vians and Okidokey. Now, the good news about these hacks is that since all were only first- and second-generation products, their manufacturers took this information and handed it to their software programmers, immediately patching the smart locks' vulnerabilities.

Hacker Trying to Break into a Smart Lock Using Cellphone

Some Smart Locks are more difficult or impossible to hack

Brands proving more difficult or impossible for white-hat hackers to penetrate included:

  • August Lock
  • Schlage
  • Noke
  • Masterlock
  • Kwikset

This list proves that quality of product and brand reputation are key to purchasing a smart lock that is secure and will do its job when integrated with your smart home security platform.

Also, it's worth noting that from a "real life scenario" and security system standpoint, your smart home platform would probably be hacked long before the actual smart lock would be, which means the quality of the equipment as well as the quality of your smart home platform are both integral requirements for a security system you can trust.

Consider Using the Right Bluetooth-Enabled Lock with Honeywell Total Connect

In terms of home security systems you can trust, we feel Honeywell Total Connect is as top-notch as it gets. The quality and security of this product are incomparable with most other brands and their customer service is superb. This is why Honeywell the only automated home security company we use unless a client requests otherwise. We are always happy to provide information about other, reputable automated home security systems upon request.

Some of the top smart brand locks that integrate with Honeywell Total Connect include:

August Locks are Honeywell's preferred Smart Lock vendor, but the company continues to explore integration with other Smart Lock manufacturers as smart lock technology improves.

Honeywell Equipment at a Tradeshow

Integrate Smart Lock Innovation with a Smart Video Doorbell

Smart Lock technology is enhanced considerably when it's paired with a smart video doorbell. Again, we prefer to sell clients the SkyBell Video Doorbell because of it's unflappable track record and industry reputation.

The SkyBell Video Doorbell merges audio-video technology, automated home security and mobility. From your desk at work, or your vacation villa in Tuscany, you have the ability to see, speak with and admit entrance to anyone who rings the doorbell.

First, the doorbell sends an alert to your mobile gadget(s) of choice. You can choose to dismiss it - leaving the home security system armed - or to accept it, at which point you'll be able to see and speak with the visitor via your phone. A simple tap will unlock the front door if you so choose, and will re-arm the system again once they've entered, watered the plants, fed the dog, dropped off the package in the entryway, etc.

Families are particular fans of SkyBell because it negates the need for children to be responsible for house keys (or your need to re-key the entire house if/when a child loses the key). Once a child arrives home from school, practice or a friend's house, s/he rings the doorbell, at which point you can check in visually, say hello, connect, blow a kiss and let your child in the door - re-activating the lock and alarm system once the child is safely tucked inside.

Smart Locks + Smart Home Platforms = Total Security

The bottom line is that while Smart Locks have been hacked, it is a very rare occurrence, and second- and third-generation Smart Locks have proven most difficult to compromise. Compare that to traditional, manual locks and windows, which are notoriously able to be picked or broken with much less expertise or ingenuity required.

When you integrate high-end Smart Lock products with reputable automated home security and comfort systems, you'll benefit from a house that is much more secure.

Interested in learning more about Smart Locks and their ability to integrate with your automated home security system of choice? Contact Richmond Alarm Company and we'll be happy to answer your questions or set up a consultation to create a more personalized approach to your home and business security.

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