The use of smart locks has seen rapid growth since people started investing in home security, and it is indeed a need of the hour as conventional locks are no longer capable of preventing forced entry and break-ins.
Although the advancement in technology helps you improve the living standard, it comes with a cost and sometimes vulnerabilities which often can put you in danger. When we talk about smart locks, the question that comes into our mind is: Can smart locks be hacked?
Smart locks are called smart because they are more effective and reliable than ordinary locks, but to put it into simple words, smart locks can be hacked; nevertheless, it requires a bit of effort, knowledge, and expertise.
It doesn’t mean that we should not be using the smart locks despite how beneficial they are and should return to using the ordinary locking system, which no longer serves the purpose. However, with the proper measures and techniques, the risk of getting hacked can be reduced significantly.
To better understand the vulnerabilities in smart locks and how you can overcome them, you need to see what smart locks are and how they work. Therefore, let’s have a quick overview of the smart locks first.
Smart locks are similar to the deadbolts, but it does not necessarily require manual operation and can automatically be locked and unlocked with enhanced functionality. The main benefit of having a smart lock is that it eliminates the need for a tangible key which otherwise is required for manual locks.
Like manual locks, smart locks are used to prevent forced entry, intrusion, robberies and protect your home, offices, and buildings.
Smart locks work in different ways, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and it also gives you remote access and control with the integration of the smartphone app. Smart locks also allow integration with smart gadgets, which also include Google Home and Amazon Alexa. In short, smart locks are much more beneficial than ordinary locks and offer great support, monitoring, and control.
Based on how differently a smart lock works, it has been categorized into different types. The most used smart locks have keypad or combination locks, fob-enabled locks, fingerprint, and biometric locks.
How Be Smart Locks Hacked?
Based on the types and working of the smart locks, there are different ways a smart lock can be hacked or compromised; however, as mentioned earlier, it requires skill and effort. You should know that the chances of getting hacked can be reduced if the smart lock is programmed and installed correctly; we will discuss some of the best measures in the article below, but first, let’s see how smart locks can be hacked.
Plain text passwords
As we already know, the passwords are stored in a central database. If they are not encrypted, you are in danger as the password can be easily hacked, plus not only the hacker and the person having access to the database can see your passwords.
A replay attack is a technique in which a hacker gets access to the code and then uses it at a different time; the system takes it as correct and gives access to it to the hacker.
In other words, we can say that hackers intercept the transmit data, delay it, and then resent it to the network. When it comes to smart locks, encrypted passwords can be blocked and used by hackers.
Decompiling APK Files
It would be best to remember that hackers are good at programming, and they can easily play with software files. As most smart locks work with android systems, hackers look for a weak point between application source code.
When the code becomes readable to the hacker, he can implant a virus, rewrite the code lines, and access sensitive information.
For a hacker, a spoofing attack is another technique to gain access to the unauthorized system. Spoofing is a technique in which a hacker impersonates a known identity. It can be done differently, such as altering the domain name system and compromising the IP address.
Steal the phone
Other than going into the details of coding, there are different ways to compromise security. One such method is when someone steals your phone. Your phone will be connected to the smart lock, and in this way, the criminal will have access to it and quickly enter the house.
Hacking Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
As the smart locks work with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, there is a very high probability that hackers will get access to the smart lock by hacking the connection.
How to Prevent Your Smart Lock from Being Hacked?
The techniques mentioned above are the most used when hacking smart locks, but one should take all the precautionary measures to make it as safe as possible. Knowing about these attacks will surely help you in getting control of the vulnerabilities. Following are some of the means and techniques you can follow to prevent your smart locks from getting hacked.
When we talk about security, one should not think through the cost; instead, one should focus on the quality. Therefore, it is crucial that you only get smart locks from well-known and reputable brands. A company that focuses more on quality should be your preference when going to buy smart locks.
2FA or 2 Factor Authentication is an advanced method being used to get over vulnerabilities. In 2FA, you are required to provide two forms of verification to gain access to the system.
Secure Wi-Fi network so that all of your smart gadgets are safe from getting hacked.
If your phone is stolen, you should change the passwords and other settings manually and try to recover your phone as soon as you can.
When setting up a password, you should be following all the rules of a strong password, such as using a combo of letters, numbers, and special keys. Do not use shorter passwords as they are easy to crack.
Specification plays a vital role in determining the quality of smart locks; among all, ensure that the smart lock you get uses AES encryption for its communication.
Regularly check for updates; it is something you should be doing without anyone telling you to do it.
We can see that smart locks can be hacked, but it doesn’t mean we cannot do anything about it.
Although it requires a considerable amount of knowledge to hack smart locks, preventive measures do not require any special skills or expertise. Instead of using conventional locks, you can take preventative measures which are easy to follow, and you can do it yourself.
This article highlights the critical steps you can take to ensure that your smart lock is safe and secure from being hacked; all you need is to follow them and make your home the safest place for you to live.