Xfinity home security can be jammed

Seems like a flaw (or, purposely programmed back door) is in the XFinity home security system. (We wonder how many are even installed on this side of the Main Line tracks. H-Town security typically depends on the NN [nosy neighbors] system). Wikipedia spells out what a radio jammer is:

“A radio jammer is any device that deliberately blocks, jams or interferes with authorized wireless communications. According to the Federal Communications Commission, jammers are illegal and their use can result in large fines.

In some cases jammers work by the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio.” 

A good old fashioned lock tends to be a good back-up system. Make sure to keep those in good working order. And you know, maybe use them sometimes.

Here’s what a handheld jammer can look like:


Btw, jammers and the FCC aren’t friends. Fussing with signal is something the FCC takes a bit of offense at, and the fed types will throw all sorts of offenses at you if you own and/or use one.

From Philly Biz Journal:

Comcast home security flaw could help burglars break in

One of Comcast’s many technological R&D endeavors is home security, but several tech outlets pointed out Tuesday that the Philadelphia company might be better off sticking to cable and internet.

According to researchers with the cybersecurity firm Rapid7, a flaw in the Xfinity Home Security System allows would-be intruders to open protected doors and windows without setting off the alarm.

An illegal radio jammer can interfere with the sensors’ communication with a home base station, failing to trigger an alarm when a window or door is opened yet the system still registered it as armed.

What was most concerning to the cyber gurus was the system’s failure to active Plan B once it recognized it was being jammed.

“The amount of time it takes for the sensor to re-establish communications with the base station and correctly report is in an open state can range from several minutes to up to three hours,” read the Rapid7 post.

“Devices should recognize these fail conditions like we expect laptops and PCs [to] do,” one of the researchers told The Verge. “Something like a security system should be able to anticipate a mildly sophisticated attack like this.”

Comcast told The Verge it is working with others in the industry to address the issue, which is being raised by “all home security systems that use wireless connectivity for door, window, and other sensors to communicate” since the technology used is an “industry-standard.”

Dan Norton covers technology and education for the Philadelphia Business Journal.


Philly Biz Journal article

Jammer – don’t buy this