Hacking Bluetooth Electronic Locks

One of the problems with being an early adopter of technology is that once a bunch of hardware is deployed that protects untold millions of dollars of stuff from theft, there is a big incentive to find vulnerabilities in that hardware. Regular old locks are tried and true. Their vulnerabilities are known. Most of these vulnerabilities have been minimized.

Enter electronic locks. Many are using technologies that are less than ten years old. A lot of locks are using Bluetooth low energy technology to communicate with people’s phones. These locks are very convenient but there are some very smart people working to find out how to unlock them and sharing what they find with the world. Look at this guy, he and his friends are working hard to figure out how to unlock bluetooth compatible locks like the August deadbolt. They describe how they reverse engineered some locks that operate by a similar principle. Hopefully the manufacturers of your lock are going to release firmware updates if vulnerabilities are discovered in the future.

If you use electronic locks that are using new whiz bang features and technology like bluetooth, you should probably keep an eye on the development of vulnerabilities for those locks. To keep your computer secure you must adhere to a regular software update cycle. If you have a computer securing your front door you must update it as well!

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Bjørn Madsen

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