Why am I hacking your alarm?

Since I’ve started posting about alarm systems, a number of people have questioned by motives. I can understand why – these are security products and I can see how many people would think poking around inside them is “dodgy”.

I’d say I have three main drivers:
  1. I love taking electronics apart and working out how they work. It’s much more challenging and interesting when someone has actively tried to stop you doing this – alarms are an ideal target because of this. I initially bought an alarm hoping it would contain a rolling code system for me to reverse, but it turned out to be far too basic. In the end I found a massive string of vulnerabilities anyway.
  2. I find security as a concept fascinating, from locks through access systems through human factors. I love how the perception of security is so often different to the reality. One of my current drivers is that I think the security economics around alarms is totally broken – it’s driven by outdated , rigid standards and insurance rather than actual security.
  3. I used to watch Bugs on BBC1 each week religiously so I spent my teenage years watching people break into high-tech buildings using fancy electronics. Whilst I’m not doing the actual breaking in, having the means to disable alarm systems and bypass access controls is fun and something I never thought would be possible to do.

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