Wireless home security systems have been steadily growing in popularity ever since they were first introduced. And there really are no signs of that trend ever stopping.
So it is only natural for there to be different brands of wireless home security systems. One such brand of smart home security devices is Frontpoint. And Frontpoint is definitely one of the bigger players on the field, so to speak.
With the growing popularity of these security systems, it is important to have a good grasp of how secure they actually are and whether or not they can be hacked.
Can Frontpoint be hacked? Frontpoint smart home security systems are using bank-grade encryption. This makes Frontpoint systems very hard to hack. Conversely, wireless smart security systems, like Frontpoint, although fairly safe against hacking, may not always be set up and secured properly, which could lead to potential vulnerabilities to spoofing attacks that hackers may use.
I did my research, and I have found a lot of interesting information about this topic. Below I go into more detail explaining some interesting points about whether or not wireless home security systems like Frontpoint can be hacked.
Do Frontpoint Security Systems Have Vulnerabilities?
There are no 100% hack-proof wireless systems. The general rule of thumb is never to trust any device completely. Vulnerabilities and weak points are found over time, and even the best devices may have them.
Wireless home security systems are growing in popularity because of a few simple reasons.
First, they are wireless, which means that you will not have to worry about running wires when installing the system. Also, the lack of wires means that you will not have to worry about somebody just walking by and disabling the system by cutting the cables. A notable convenience, however, also a significant disadvantage.
A product needs to be convenient for the user; otherwise, it may not sell well. So manufacturers often need to find the right balance between making their product secure enough and convenient enough so it will not be interpreted as inconvenient or frustrating.
You see, the problem with wireless security systems is that people with the right tools can intercept the wireless signal.
Weak passwords are the easiest way to gain access to your security system.
The encryption that Frontpoint is using, according to the company, is bank-grade. Bank-grade encryption is considered heavy encryption, which is usually 128 or 256-bit AES. These are extremely hard to crack and decipher encryptions (as brute-forcing even a 128-bit AES password can take billions and billions of years), though, not completely impossible to hack.
How the System Is Programmed
Many wireless home security systems suffer from one weakness. The signal between the sensor and the main control hub or control system that will trigger the alarm and alert the monitoring company can be intercepted and deciphered if it is not properly encrypted.
And experts have found that many systems do not properly encrypt the radio signal. Although the different manufacturers will use different hardware, the systems still operate by following the same fundamental and relatively outdated principles.
What is more, that signal can also be jammed. This will prevent the signal from going through to the main hub and triggering the alarm.
Given the right equipment and knowledge, a thief can potentially prevent the alarm system from going off, or trigger false alarms to the point where the whole system is unusable, or even gain access to passwords and personal data.
Overall many home security systems are vulnerable to spoofing. This means that a person can “listen” to the signals sent between the different sensors and devices and mimic them. And that person does not need to be close to your home; they can do that sometimes from as far away as 250 feet.
Yet another problem comes from potential third-party app access and physical access to the smart devices.
How the Frontpoint System Connects to the Internet
According to the experts, one of the problems is that although generally considered safe, most home security systems are lacking in terms of how hack-proof they are.
One of the problems is that anything that is connected in some way, form or shape to the internet can potentially be hacked.
Cloud-based systems, although very useful and convenient, also pose a latent hazard. The signals sent to the cloud server can also pose a threat as they can be intercepted.
Other features like remote camera monitoring can also be a potential liability.
Unfortunately, there is no regulatory body that monitors smart home devices hacking and misuse.
The good thing is that as the level of awareness rises, and more questions are put forth, it is inevitable that a debate will be started about regulating the wireless smart home security market.
What Are the Signs That a Frontpoint Security System Has Been Hacked?
It may not always be easy to spot when a Frontpoint security system, or any other security system for that matter, has been hacked as there are not always clear giveaways.
For example, smart home devices may just respond and be a little slower in general. The devices may also be unresponsive, or they may restart on their own.
Other signs that your home security system may have been compromised are strange sounds or voices, camera movement, changed passwords, altered settings, and an increase in the network traffic.
There are access logs that record the IPs of everyone that access your devices. Make sure to keep track of these logs as they can be a good sign of malicious attacks.
How to Prevent Frontpoint Security Systems From Being Hacked
Although anything can be hacked, there are a few steps that you can take to improve the security of your Frontpoint system.
Secure Your Wireless Network
There are a lot of things that you can do to secure your wireless network.
- Change the SSID (or the name of the wireless network).
- Use reliable and robust network encryption. WPA2 is considered one of the better and most effective network encryptions.
- Disable SSID broadcasting.
- Use a quality firewall, anti-malware, and antivirus software.
- Use a VPN.
Use Strong Passwords
Your Frontpoint security system needs to be protected the same way you protect your smartphone and computer. (Even smart printers can be hacked.) So you need to make sure that your security system is as well protected as possible.
Some homeowners may feel safe knowing that their home security system is placed inside their home’s premises; however, since all parts of the system are wireless, thieves do not need to gain physical access to the system in order to temper with it.
Hence a strong password is a must. The passwords on all devices and systems should be routinely changed. It is recommended that the passwords be changed every 1 or 2 months.
But what is considered a strong password?
Use long passwords; they should be at least six characters long, or more. Use letters, numbers, symbols. Passwords are case-sensitive, so you should use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters as well. Avoid any commonly used words, phrases, etc. The password should be unpredictable and not following any pattern.
Make sure to use new and unique passwords. Many people tend to use old passwords that they have been using on numerous websites. All it takes is for one of these sites to get compromised, and somebody can get access to your home security devices.
Keep the Firmware up to Date
Software updates that may add additional features and fix potential weaknesses are often rolled out by the majority of the manufacturers.
Make sure your smart home security devices are always kept up to date and have all the latest security patches. It is recommended to check for available updates regularly.
It is important to note that not all manufacturers will push through these updates, so you may not receive a notification or be prompted to update your devices.
Use Two-Factor Authentication When Possible
Whenever possible, make sure to use two-factor authentication possible in order to add another level of security to your system.
Don’t Use Branded Security Signs
Usually, smart home security systems come with a security sign that you can place in your yard.
It is true, as simple a thing as a security sign can deter thieves from trying to break in or even stealing something that may have been left in your yard.
However, there is also an inherent problem with almost all of these branded signs—they tell the thieves exactly what security system you are using.
By telling the thieves what security system you have installed in your home, you are doing half of the work for them. It does not take much to research and find information about how the system works, whether you have cell coverage, what frequencies the system works at, and so much more.
Instead, use a security sign that will inform people but not give away what kind of security system you have in place.