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The Dark Side of Cheaper Digital Locks: Potential Security Risks to Be Aware Of

The Dark Side of Cheaper Digital Locks: Potential Security Risks to Be Aware Of

Digital door locks/gate locks are so convenient! No more fumbling for keys – punch in a code and walk right in. This is one of the customer’s reviews: “I recently switched to a digital lock for my front door and love how simple it is” It is evident that everyone is considering digital lock as a new normal for locking the door or gate.

But along with that easy access comes some potential security risks you must be aware of. While the idea of a hack-proof, keyless system sounds excellent, digital locks have limitations.

So, despite the convenience, you should only approach cheaply priced or affordable digital locks with some caution.

Before buying a digital lock, consider the brand, the lock’s quality according to user reviews, and lastly, how trustworthy the brand is! At Doorvisual, we are the dealers of Singapore’s best digital lock brands.

Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about the security risks you should be aware of when selecting a less well-known brand, more reasonably priced, and less expensive digital lock.

Cheaper Digital Locks security risks:

#1 – Wireless Vulnerabilities

Wireless signals are both a benefit and a weakness of weak and unreliable digital door locks. On the one hand, they provide the convenience of keyless entry. But on the other, those wireless signals can be exploited by hackers in two main ways: Hacking Jamming.

Hacking

Many digital door locks use either radio frequency (RF) or Bluetooth to transmit wireless signals. Unfortunately, anyone with the right equipment can intercept those signals and capture your access code as transmitted from the keypad.

If you’ve installed a low-quality, this hacking type is pretty simple for someone who knows what they’re doing. All they need is an RF scanner or Bluetooth sniffer device, and they can “listen in” on the signals from your lock. Once they capture your code, they have keyless entry into your home!

If your digital lock uses RF or Bluetooth in any way, understand that anyone within transmission range could hack your access code. Although it’s not a very familiar situation, it is possible.

Jamming

Another risk is signal jamming attacks. If you installed a normal less advanced Digital lock, a hacker can jam the frequencies used by RF-based or Bluetooth digital door locks, preventing the lock from functioning correctly.

This is done using a simple signal jammer device. No wireless signals can get through when it’s activated near your lock. So even if you enter the correct code, the lock won’t receive it and thus won’t open.

Signal jamming attacks are more familiar with RF authentications than Bluetooth. However, using a low-quality digital lock that relies on wireless signals is risky. For this reason, you should pick a brand like Solity, Kaiser, IglooHome, Kaadas, and Samsung, as you can find these and other brands on our website, where we also offer the best branded digital lock models.

#2 – Risk of Information Exposure

Beyond wireless vulnerabilities, another security concern with digital door locks is the risk of information exposure. There are two main ways access codes can become exposed:

Stored Access Codes

Most digital locks store the access codes within the lock’s own memory. In other words, if a hacker can gain access to that memory – through either physical or wireless hacking – they could retrieve your stored code.

Even if the lock’s wireless signals are encrypted, a talented hacker may still be able to hack into the lock’s internal memory and retrieve plain text codes. Once they have that code, they have keyless access to your home.

So, assume that any access code stored within a digital lock’s memory could be exposed if compromised.

Cloud Storage

Some “smart” digital door locks now store access codes and other data in the cloud. This allows for features like remote access and control via an app.

However, it also means that if the cloud service storing that data is breached, your access codes could be exposed. 

So, if your digital lock uses cloud storage for any reason, understand that a breach of that cloud service would result in your access codes and other data falling into the wrong hands.

Therefore, whether its access codes are stored within the lock itself or stored in the cloud, there is a risk of that information being exposed through hacking or data breaches. 

Make sure you change access codes periodically and use strong passwords to mitigate these information exposure risks with digital door locks.

#3 – Social engineering attacks 

Social engineering attacks are another security risk of digital door locks or gate locks you ought from a cheap or unreliable brand. There are 2 main types of social engineering attacks:

Guest Access Codes

Many people give temporary access codes to guests, visitors, service people, etc. While convenient, these guest codes pose risks:

-The guests could share the code illegally with others. They may need to realize the security implications.

-The guests could forget to delete the code after their stay or job is complete, leaving it active longer than intended.

-You may only realize a guest code is active if you change codes regularly.

To avoid this risk:

-Only give out guest codes when necessary and limit their duration.

-Delete guest codes immediately after use.

-Consider alternative options like smart locks with one-time access tokens or physical keys for guests.

Tip: If you have chosen a top-quality digital lock model, you don’t need to worry about this issue!

Shoulder Surfing

This involves an attacker simply observing the lock’s owner entering their access code. They then try to use that code to gain unauthorized access.

Here are some tips to avoid this issue:

-Be cautious when entering codes in public places where others may be watching.

-Consider using a privacy filter (if available) on the lock’s keypad to obstruct views.

-Stand in a way that blocks others’ views of the keypad as you enter the code.

-Install security cameras to monitor your property and detect unauthorized access attempts.

So, social engineer attacks on digital door locks – like giving out guest codes or having codes observed – are relatively simple for attackers to carry out.

According to a survey, social engineering attacks only have a 1% chance of happening with top digital lock brands like Kaadas, Hafele, Solity, Samsung, Loghome, etc.

But, regarding new digital lock models, and less expensive, less well-known brands, there is a 25%–30% chance that security risks could occur.

But again, you can reduce these risks by meticulously managing access codes, only giving them out when necessary, carefully entering codes out of view from others, and installing security measures to detect unauthorized access attempts. 

However, reputable and well-known brands have more modern features and quality that guard against security risks or hacks.

Summary:

With so many potential security risks associated with digital door locks, selecting a trusted brand that offers high-quality, reliable models is key. 

At Doorvisual, we deal with the most reputed and reliable digital lock brands like

Aqara, Samsung, Hafele, Kaiser+, Solity, Igloohome

that mitigate risks through advanced technology and rigorous testing.

These security risks, such as wireless vulnerabilities, information exposure risks, and social engineering attacks, can be avoided with our robust models. 

Unlike other sellers offering low-quality and cheaply priced digital locks to gain attraction, we focus on premium brands to provide the best security.

If you decide to get the ultimate peace of mind and protection for your home, you must buy from the best – so choose a high-end digital lock model from one of our trusted brands at Doorvisual.

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