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4140 Ways Your Alarm System Can Fail Derbycon 2012 (Hacking Illustrated Series InfoSec Tutorial Videos)

4140 Ways Your Alarm System Can Fail
Derbycon 2012

Alarm systems and panels were designed before the prevalence of wireless technology and communicate with a proprietary protocol over a two-wire data bus. This bus was designed for use between alarm panels, keypads and zone expanders. However this has now been extended to allow the system to communicate with wireless sensors. Unfortunately, little research has been performed regarding these systems, and operational information about them is scarce and often incorrect. This presentation will demonstrate several classic vulnerabilities of alarm installations and then present several new techniques for reducing the effectiveness of the alarm system.

Babak Javadi / Keith Howell


Babak Javadi: Babak Javadi is a hardware hacker with a wayward sprit. His first foray into the world of physical security was in the third grade, where he received detention for describing to another student in words alone how to disassemble the doorknob on the classroom door. After years of immersion in electronics and computer hardware hacking, he found his passion in the puzzling and mysterious world of high security locks and safes. After serving as a driving force within the locksport community for almost a decade and helping found the US division of The Open Organisation of Lockpickers, he has recently re-embraced the beauty of the baud and resumed hardware hacking with a vengeance. He currently serves as the President of the US group of The Open Organisation of Lockpickers (TOOOL) and is the founder of The CORE Group, a security research and consulting firm.

Keith Howell: Trained as an Electronics Engineer by the British Army, Keith became interested in computers and began his learning path with a TRS-80 and has owned most Intel based processors since then. After joining UUNET Technologies in 1995, he started to get interested in the security of networks and computers and in 1998 joined the UUNET InfoSec team. Following the ‘dot-bomb’ period in 2001, Keith returned to his electronics background and began doing physical security including Access Control, Alarm Systems and Locksmithing. Keith is a CISSP as well as an ALOA CRL (Certified Registered Locksmith). Currently, Keith is a Security Consultant in the Washington, DC area where he is contracted to Assurance Data Inc in Alexandria, VA.

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