Is it possible that someone – a burglar, a thief, or worse – could gain entry to your home by hacking your garage door opener?

Is it possible that someone – a burglar, a thief, or worse – could gain entry to your home by hacking your garage door opener? The short answer is yes, it’s very possible.

Not the answer you wanted, is it?

But it’s the truth. Many garage door openers can be hacked. And as one man has recently proven, doing so is not much more than child’s play.

Toy or Ploy?

A man by the name of Samy Kamkar made some alterations to a Mattel texting toy called an IM-ME. With just a few simple changes to the toy, Kamkar turned it into a code-breaking tool. He can walk right up to a garage door, pull the toy out of his pocket, and have the door opened in just seconds.

The altered toy works by testing every possible code combo for a door – perhaps a less impressive feat than it seems, since garage door codes are not particularly complex. Kamkar demonstrated that any technically savvy burglar can come up with a device that will open hundreds of thousands of garage doors across the country.

Garage Door Hacking Isn’t New

Burglars have had the ability to hack garage doors for some time. But in the past, hacking a garage door involved stealing codes, not deducing them. Until recently, the bad guys could only get your garage door code by hiding and waiting for you to get home. Then when you activated your door, their equipment could grab the code.

But the new technology has made life much easier for the bad guys. Now they can just drive around a neighborhood, trying their device on any garage door, any time.

A Bit of Good News…

The news isn’t all bad. Not all garage doors can be hacked – at least not so easily.

Some garage door openers – particularly older ones – utilize “fixed-code” technology. That means that whatever code is programmed to trigger the opener remains fixed and unchanged. It’s like the combination to a combination lock; once you have that combination you can open that lock any time you please.

But other openers use “rolling-codes.” That technology generates a new code every time you hit the ‘open’ button on your garage door remote. The new code-breaker technology doesn’t work on rolling-code openers, only on fixed-code openers.

So it might be wise to determine what type of opener you have. A call to the manufacturer of the unit might be necessary to find out for sure. And if you learn that your opener uses fixed code technology – well, it might be time to go shopping for a new garage door opener

if your garage door still has the lock that was installed at the time of your home’s construction.

Garage door locks are pretty important pieces of equipment. And unfortunately, garage door locks are frequently disregarded pieces of equipment for many homeowners.

More often than not, homeowners are quite content with whatever lock happens to be on their garage door at the time they purchase their house. And yet many home break-ins occur through garage doors.

So if you haven’t given your garage door lock much consideration in a while, now might be a good time to evaluate your lock. And that’s particularly true if your garage door still has the lock that was installed at the time of your home’s construction.

Ideally, your lock should be one of the following 5 top choices for garage door locks:

#1: Electronically-Operated Locks

Cutting-edge products of modern technology, electronic locks are opened with fingerprints rather than keys. Each lock can store many fingerprints in memory to permit access to multiple people.

Electronic locks are among the most expensive of locks. But they also offer the highest level of security that’s currently available in garage door locks.

#2: Keyless Digital Locks

No keys are required for these locks. Instead, they’re operated with a keypad into which the correct digital code must be entered. These locks not susceptible to picking or ‘jimmying’ methods, as are most mechanical locks, and so they offer a very high level of security.

Many manufacturers of digital locks, in fact, offer lifetime warranties against damages caused by intruders.

#3: Garage Door Deadbolts

Deadbolt locks for garages typically come in two styles, single cylinder and double cylinder.

Single cylinder garage deadbolts require a key to operate from the outside, and are operated with a knob from the inside. Double cylinder deadbolts require that a key be used on both the inside and the outside of the door.

Deadbolt-style locks are much more difficult for thieves to overcome than the spring-style lock that is prevalent on many garage doors.

#4: T-Handle Locks

These locks are most commonly used on garage doors of metal construction. T-handle locks are operated with keys. However the keys for these locks are uniquely shaped, and difficult to duplicate. And that makes these locks more difficult for burglars to overcome.

#5: Side-Mounted Bolt

Garage door side-mounted bolts are deadbolt-style locks that are mounted on the door track. It’s a type of lock that can’t be accessed from outside the garage door, even with specialized tools.

A side-mounted door bolt is a relatively simple and inexpensive lock. But it offers good bang-for-the-buck value in terms of the security it provides.

Active keyless entry, where a button has to be pushed, has been around for decades.

Active keyless entry, where a button has to be pushed, has been around for decades. Passive keyless entry, where you don’t have to push a button to unlock the car, is becoming standard on many higher model cars. Both keyless entry methods are much more convenient for drivers. With embedded chips, they also offer more security than traditional keys, since the chip signature has to be present to start the car.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re entirely secure. There have been many publicized break-ins that seem like they’re being done using keyless entry systems. Here are a few of the possible methods that are being suggested.
Passive Signal Amplification

With passive keyless entry, the car emits a low frequency signal that extends a very short distance from the car. When the key comes in range the signal is detected, and the key sends the authorization code to allow the doors to be unlocked.

Security specialists say that thieves may use a device that amplifies that low frequency signal, allowing the car and the key to connect from much farther away. For example, the key could be inside the house while the car is on the street and thieves could amplify its signal to unlock the car door. Analysts say this method could be prevented by installing a proximity chip in the key.
Brute Force Hacks

There are trillions of combinations for the codes between the car and the key, and only a few are valid at any given time. That being said, there are hundreds of codes being transmitted through the air from other keyless entry devices. Computer networks might lock out the account after a few tries, but cars have to ignore these wrong codes, otherwise they’d be locked out all the time.

That lack of functionality is what brute force hacks utilize. They’ll send out transmissions with millions of different code combinations in a matter of minutes. If the right one hits the car, then the doors will unlock. This method is largely combated by increasing the encryption level. Many cars use 56-bit encryption, but upgrading to 128-bit encryption would require so many combinations that brute force would take too long.
Non-Hack Workarounds

There are a few methods that aren’t hacks, just clever tricks. One of these is to use a frequency jammer. These illegal devices can block any transmission within a certain frequency range. Fire one up near a car, and it can stop the signal getting through. The driver will think they locked the car, but it didn’t go through and the car stays unlocked, just waiting for the thief to open the door.

Another method is good old fashioned organized crime: the thieves simply clone the keys and their security programming when the car goes in for repair. You can avoid this by making sure you go to reputable and trustworthy auto repair shops.
http://key-n-lock.com/

The majority of the cars produced in the last fifteen years have had some option for keyless entry

The majority of the cars produced in the last fifteen years have had some option for keyless entry, and it’s becoming more popular all the time. But how exactly do these remote keys work? And how does it know to only open the doors on your car?
The Basics

Inside the key is a short range radio transmitter which works up to about twenty meters away. At its core the system is similar to the one used to open many garage doors or for electronic locks. The transmitter in the key sends a signal with a code. If the code matches the code at the receiver, then the receiver activates the mechanism, such as opening the garage door or disengaging the electronic lock.
Active Keys

Active remote entry keys have been around since the 1990s. When you press a button, a transmission is sent with a code and a command matching the button, such as unlocking the doors. The transmission spreads out in all directions, which is why your key can be pointed any direction to unlock the car. In order to make sure that no other cars are unlocked, the transmitter and receiver are linked to have corresponding codes. The receiver will only follow the command if it comes with the right code.
Passive Keys

Also known as smart keys, these more recent additions to the keyless entry lineup can authorize commands without having to press a single button. The core of these is an array of low frequency (LF) antennas spread out around the car, usually around four to six antennas. These produce a magnetic field around the car. The key fob itself normally stays in a sleep mode that keeps an extremely low power LF detector active. When the LF field around the car is detected, the key fob switches on and begins transmitting the code. The multiple antennas pick up that transmission, and can use the varying signal strengthens to locate exactly where the key fob is, such as next to the door or in the driver’s seat.
Security & Encryption

Security is an extremely important concern for keyless entry. There are millions of key fobs out there, and it’s vital that they can’t open any other car. Additionally, the security needs to be strong enough that someone can’t easily receive the transmission from the key, duplicate it, and gain access to the car.

That complicated security is handled with heavy-duty encryption. Each car manufacturer has its own method for encrypting their keys, but most modern ones use an encryption key with 128-bit encryption. That means that the code key is 128 characters long, or about 339 decillion combinations. To give you an idea of large that number is, a decillion 1 with 33 zeroes. A trillion is 10 with 12 zeroes.

If that weren’t difficult enough, the encryption is done on a changing or rolling basis. The receiver and transmitter are synced with a program that near-randomly generates a new key every time. This rolling and changing encryption is key to defeating efforts to hacking into keyless entry systems.
http://key-n-lock.com/

Locksmith Plays Key Role In Home Invasion

Locksmith Plays Key Role In Home Invasion
The Huffington Post | By Arin Greenwood

A locksmith was hired to help gain access to a Northern Virginia home last Friday, which wouldn’t normally be news — only it turns out the house didn’t actually belong to the person who claimed to be (and, we suppose, actually was) locked out.

Police spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck told the blog Arlington Now that authorities found out about the incident when the locksmith’s suspicions were aroused:

After the locksmith allowed him to gain entry, the suspect rummaged through drawers to look for working keys and identification, said police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

“That set off an internal alarm for the locksmith, who said he was going to contact ACPD if the suspect didn’t show proof he lived at the residence,” Sternbeck told ARLnow.com. ”That’s when the suspect fled on foot.”

It’s not unheard of for locksmiths to be unwitting partners in crime. Or at least in attempted crimes.

Some states have laws requiring those hiring the services of a locksmith to show proof that they are authorized to smith a particular lock. Ryan White, a locksmithing instructor at the Lockmasters Security Institute, tells HuffPost that “as a practice, we teach that even if it’s not state law it’s a good practice” to require customers to show a bill or some other document that links them to the address they’d like to enter.

“If they can’t tie themselves to that address, even after the door is open, we’d call 911,” White says, explaining that in his decades of work in the industry, he’s run across just a few cases of folks with nefarious goals, and that “in all incidents it was domestic.”

Mike Groves, CEO of Arlington-based Federal Lock & Safe, says that Virginia is one of those states without a such a law, but that it’s “basically common sense,” and his company’s policy, to require ID. “If you can’t adhere to our policies, you just don’t open the door,” he says.

Groves says he hasn’t come across a lot of people trying to break into homes, but hinted at some other exciting scenarios he’s witnessed, working in the D.C. area.

“Drunken congressmen,” he says, “All kinds of stuff in this town. It’s funny.”

As for the recent criminal event, one Arlington Now commenter adjudged it a complete success:

Look, everyone in this story did exactly what they were supposed to. The burglar was acting like a burglar. And the locksmith was acting like any locksmith would under the circumstances (cautiously proceeding with the understanding that the “homeowner” would show proof of residence once inside). Good job all around.

Maybe save a little of the praise — or heap a little extra on the suspect, who, Sternbeck tells HuffPost, is “still at large.”

http://key-n-lock.com/

Locked Out: Watch This Video So You Don’t Get Taken by a Locksmith

Locked Out: Watch This Video So You Don’t Get Taken by a Locksmith

Steve Noviello locked outIf you’ve ever been locked out of your car or home and need a locksmith to get you back in, watch this investigative report by Consumer Ally partner Steve Noviello.

Noviello, the consumer reporter for KDFW in Dallas, did an undercover investigation and found locksmith companies that routinely add on charges far beyond what is considered reasonable.

An industry representative said if a company won’t give you a firm price quote over the phone then move on to another one. Prices for routine jobs without complications shouldn’t be far from that quote, he said.

“If any company tells you they don’t know what it’s going to cost to unlock your car under normal circumstances, they’re probably going to try and scam you,” said John Arnold of the Texas Locksmith Association.

He said it should cost $50 to $75 to get a car lock opened.

Most states license locksmiths. In those states, be sure that whomever is being dispatched to your home or car has a license. This way, you at least have a place to file a complaint.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/12/10/locked-out-watch-this-video-so-you-dont-get-taken-by-a-locksmi/

24 Hr Locksmiths NYC

Getting the Help of an New York City Locksmith

Getting the Help of an New York City Locksmith

Are you wondering when the perfect to call a locksmith in New York City is? Read our featured news this month and wonder no more.

A locksmith in New York City is now very easy to reach.

You see ads on posters as well as on the Internet.

What you only need is to know when the perfect time to call a lock tech in the city.

Here are two situations when you will need the help of a locksmith in New York City:

Call a locksmith in New York City during a lockout – Any kind of lockout – house, office or car, is a serious threat. It can also bring a lot of inconvenience if not quickly addressed. For example, you do not want to be in a house lockout scenario when you already want go to your bedroom and sleep. You also do not want to be in a car lockout situation when you are about to attend to an important meeting. A residential locksmith can open your bedroom instantly. Similarly, it will only take minutes for an automotive locksmith to unlock your car.

Call a locksmith in New York City if a housemate or an employee left – Scenarios like these require to do a preventive security measure. Specifically, you should contact a locksmith in New York City to perform a lock rekey service. This security service guarantees that old keys will not work on the lock.

In a nutshell, having any lock or key glitch is a perfect time to contact a locksmith in New York City.

You also have to call someone who is a real expert on locks and keys.

This is why you better call one from New York City Locksmith at 718-374-5993

For us, anytime is the perfect time because we are always ready to respond to your concern whatever time of the day or night you will call us.

24 Hr Locksmiths NYC

Why is House Lockout Considered an Emergency

Why is House Lockout Considered an Emergency?
Getting locked out of your home is a very awful experience.

The worst part is, things like this usually happen at a time when it’s most inconvenient.
Imagine getting locked out after coming home in the middle of the night or when it’s raining heavily.
While house lockout is common among many households, on average, it’s not something that’s taken that seriously.
Why? Some argue that they can always kick down the door, while others say that they can crawl through a window.
Emergency house lockout
What do experts say?

Professional locksmiths view a house lockout as an emergency as too often they’ve experienced situations which resulted in catastrophes because the householder waited too long to call for help.
There are many reasons people get locked out. One of such could be that they’ve lost their keys. But what if someone stole that set of keys? You’ll never know! In such a case, there’s a great possibility that your home might be susceptible to burglary, or someone might want to harm you.
The right step to take is to immediately call a locksmith to rekey your locks or change the main ones.
Another reason house lockout is considered as an emergency is that someone helpless could be locked inside, or maybe you’re not sure if the stove was turned off. The longer you wait outside, the greater the chances are that something bad might happen inside.

What to Do

Getting immediate help to get back inside is the first step to take. Always keep the contact information of an emergency locksmith is your telephone contacts.
Most times,a locksmith will reach you within minutes after the call has ended.

What Not to Do
It’s never a good idea to kick down the door, or to break through a window. This will bring on added expenses, plus the main issue will be left standing.
You’ll still have to call someone to fix the door or to pick the lock if the keys cannot be found.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, get the contact information of an emergency locksmith in case of a house lockout.
You can also keep a spare key with someone who’s trusted, such as a close friend or neighbor.
In addition, if you were locked out due to a lost or stolen key, get the help of a professional locksmith to rekey or change your locks.
Don’t take chances with your life—don’t hesitate to get immediate help when it comes to a house lockout. It’s an emergency!

Auto Locksmiths NYC

What makes an nyc automotive locksmith service good?

What makes an automotive locksmith service good?

The industry is filled with good and bad services providers, hence there are vital signs to look for when seeking a company that you can really trust.

When searching for a reliable automotive locksmith you have to choose wisely.

If you don’t conduct your own research, you could end up doing business with scam artists.

Satisfied automotive locksmith customers
What is a good automotive locksmith company?

A locksmith company should be 100% professional and fully licensed. The locksmiths are also highly skilled and trained to work their duties without causing damages. The following are signs that you found a company that you can trust:

Reasonable Prices

When a price sounds too good to be true, there’s a big chance that it really is! If a locksmith offers a quote that is too low and sounds unrealistic, something is wrong. Either that person is not qualified or just looking for a quick fix (fast cash). If a locksmith tells you he will perform the service for half the price or less, that’s a red flag.

A price that is expensive and sounds out of the ordinary, might well be that. There are scam artists going around trying to rip off people with every opportunity that present itself.

No Generic Names

best_price

An automotive locksmith that has a name that is not a real person or
business name is another red flag. If you cannot find any information about this person or name, that’s an indication that you’re talking to a scam artist.

Availability of mobile services

A technician that provides emergency solutions for car owners must be mobile. Auto means you’re on the road, and if an emergency happens, say for example, getting locked out or can’t start the car due to ignition issues, it means you need help on-the-spot.

A reliable locksmith must always be prepared to to rush to the scene after receiving the call.

Emergency Services

There are some automotive locksmiths who don’t respond to emergency calls. However, a good automotive locksmith service company is always ready and available to assist. Emergencies happen at any time, and a reliable locksmith will be there when you need the support most.

Round-the-Clock Support

While responding to emergencies is good, providing 24/7 services is even better. A good locksmith is always available and ready to come over and solve your automotive security issues—night or day, late or early.

Around the clock service

Right Equipment

Having the right tools will not only get the job done accurately, the time it takes will be quick, and there will be no damages left behind. Oftentimes people revert to DIY methods, using tools such as wire racks, and so forth. A professional auto locksmith has all the right tools to get the job done effectively and efficiently.

Helping you to minimize costs such as those associated with buying and replacing keys, and providing helpful tips is the duty of a good automotive locksmith. A professional technician is trustworthy and reliable—such one must also be capable of generating ideas when faced with challenges—he must know who to be a professional!

Another satisfied client
Is the automotive locksmith dedicated?

Dedication to work is also another factor. A good company is very dedicated and knows all the ins and outs of his job. He must know how to rekey, service safes, create new keys, perform auto lockout services, and all the areas that requires the attention of his kind.

In addition to high-quality services, good auto locksmiths also sell high-quality products. Most professional locksmith companies carry around service parts and accessories in their vans should in case a buyer needs accessories such as a lock. Instead of running to the store or hardware to get one, it’s right there to purchase.

Finding a trustworthy specialist is hard, and it’s even harder when it comes to finding a good automotive locksmith. Knowing this, it’s best to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Get the contact information of a reliable local company and save the number in your contact list.

Automotive locksmith technician

Beware of imposters!

Prevention is better than cure, and in this sense, better than having to pick up the pieces or spend your life savings if you chose to do it yourself or hire an amateur. As was mentioned before, not all technicians are qualified to do what they are asked. Be careful and watch out for imposters.

Never try to work on your vehicle alone if you’re not qualified. Doing so could cause damages that may be very hard to mend and even more difficult to address when an auto locksmith comes to correct the problem. Don’t take chances with your vehicle, and don’t trust any and every one who claims to be a qualified technician—seek out and hire a good automotive locksmith

Locksmith NYC

Locked keys in car in NYC ? Read this!

Locked keys in car? Read this!

When it comes to the majority of long-time experienced drivers, there’s no doubt that at least once in their lifetime, it might have happened that they accidentally locked the keys inside the car.

That’s certainly not a pleasant experience; even the very thought of it seems frightening. But, there are ways of getting past the fear, and many methods to get the keys out.
Locked keys in car in Atlanta

Some have tried DIY methods, which have proved to be unsuccessful for the most part. Others prefer to go the traditional route of acquiring the services of an automotive locksmith. Either way, the goal is to unlock the door and get the keys that got locked in the car out, without damaging the vehicle.

Got a spare key?

The best way to get into the car when the keys are locked in the cabin is by using a spare key. This is especially important if the vehicle is parked in an area that is considered a “risky” zone. However, if that’s not a possibility, having the right supplies can spare car owners the cost of having to call a tow truck.
How to unlock a car door safely

Also, here are a few DIY ways of solving the “locked keys in car” dilemma, which used to be more effective in the past, but are pretty useless when it comes to post 2000’s cars.

DIY methods to avoid

Using a Shoestring

For this simple trick, all that’s needed is a shoelace that can be made into a loop and tightened. First, make a loop in the middle of the string and tighten, then work it into the door (around the top edge), let it reach the safety lock, hoop the loop around it, tighten and pull it up.

This trick used to be famous in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and was used by thieves more often than by actual car owners who got a key locked in a car. Nowadays – the shoestring is more a myth than a practical way to retrieve keys that got locked in a car.

Using a Strip of Plastic

This works similar to the shoe string— the only difference is that a thin, long piece of plastic is used. Bend the plastic in half and slide it through the crack of the door. When it reaches the pull-up latch, flip it up.

These methods may seem quite simple and effective for getting a locked key out of a car, however, they might be helpful only in case that the car is old and has primitive locks installed. These methods may also cause unnecessary damage to the automobile.

For the best results and to speed up things, call an automotive locksmith. A locksmith is already experienced in handling this type of job and has all the right tools to unlock the door without problems, no matter what type of car should be serviced.
Automotive locksmith in Atlanta

Call a Locksmith if You’ve Locked the Keys in the Car

We’ve touched a little on this above; however, calling an emergency locksmith is the best approach to this situation. An automotive locksmith is professionally trained to handle lock and key issues like this one, has all the right tools, and will come to the car’s location, thus sparing the car owners the need to tow the vehicle.

Another advantage of calling an automotive locksmith is that they respond quite quickly to calls, showing up on the spot between 15 to 20 minutes from the time of call. For this to happen, one would have to get a local emergency locksmith. So, be prepared by acquiring the contact information of a reliable emergency locksmith company in your area.

Though it may be tempting to pop the lock with a crowbar, or smash the window, remember that you will need to use the car afterwards. To use a professional automotive locksmith service in order to get locked keys out of the car is way cheaper than damaging the vehicle and then paying to get it fixed. The latter would also guarantee additional waste of time and might lower the car’s value, so it’s better to rely on a specialist.

In conclusion

The consequences of utilizing primitive DIY methods can be disastrous and end up costing a lot of money. More often than not, these methods have caused serious injuries to those who are inexperienced in getting locked keys out of a car.

It’s not as easy as it is shown on a YouTube video or a blog tutorial—it takes special skills to master these DIY methods. Fortunately, few are those car owners who got their keys locked in a car more than once, so there is no need to “get used” to this situation.

A locksmith is, without a doubt, the best and most experienced person to unlock a car door when the car keys are locked inside. In general, when it comes to lock and key issues, there are no other experts who can handle these problems, professionally, quickly and efficiently.

Auto Locksmiths NYC