Installing a home security system is a major check off the to-do list. You've researched your options, found a major provider, and finally had the works installed—door and window sensors, motion sensors, lighting controllers, indoor and outdoor cameras, you name it. You feel accomplished and most importantly—safe.
Until it fails.
According to a recent article on Slate.com, the home security system offered by Comcast Xfinity has some major flaws that can potentially leave home-owners at serious risk for home invasion and burglary.
Quoting recent findings from Rapid7, an IT and Security research firm, Comcast's Xfinity Home Security system has the potential to falsely report the status of closed windows and doors.
So, how are they doing it?
Criminals use simple DIY radio-jamming equipment to block signals that pass from a door, window, or motion sensor to the home's security hub. For less that $150, a thief can devise a tool that will fool your brand new home security system into thinking all sensors are intact and windows and doors are secure, even when they aren't. What's worse, is the flaw exposes the home security system's inability to report to the homeowner that anything was wrong once the system is up and running again.
After jamming the security system, it can take up to several hours for the sensor and security hub to re-establish communication. The potential for thieves to enter your home for a quick hit is very real for customers, who at that point are locked into a binding two year contract upwards of $50 per month.
How Comcast dodges licensing laws
In the state of Massachusetts, security system installers need to be properly licensed. Comcast has been installing these systems without the required licensure, which has caused quite a stir. Comcast has so far avoided any penalty, because the "Comcast Xfinity system 'does not constitute a security system' and therefore the company is free to operate without a license or permit for its security work".
That's bad news for Xfinity security customers. The system is not being installed by licensed professionals. A system that has been deemed by the Attorney General as not falling "under the regulations of normal security system installations".
Crafty home invaders know this, and there are numerous reports across the state of home break-ins using this technique. If someone is wise enough to know how to do it, it won't be hard for them to target your home if the red "Protected by Xfinity Home Security" sign is still out front on your lawn.
So what's the best course of action for you to secure your property? Contact a licensed professional. Install a real security system for your home. The professionals at Buttonwood Communications Inc. are all licensed and have gone through a background screening so they can legally install security systems in this state.
Give us a call, and we can walk you through all the options that are right for your home and lifestyle. Request a free consultation or give us a call at 617-379-1949.