Security of Garage Door Openers

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Palmpilot, Dec 5, 2018 at 2:03 AM.

  1. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A neighbor told me today that someone had somehow done something to activate his garage door opener to gain access to his house and burglarize it. Is there some way that garage door openers can be hacked? Or do they have something akin to a password with a default value that the owner must change to make it secure?
     
  2. Blatham489

    Blatham489 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think older models were quite easily replicated, newer ones have some kind of security but I have no idea how robust they are. I had also heard not too long ago there was a simple method being used, along the lines of a coat hanger slipped over the top and they fish for the release handle and pull.

    If I’m gone long, I lock my door to the house for that reason. But if they want in, they’ll get in. Ever had a glass guy come replace a pane in a window? “No, you don’t need to be there”. You’ll be shocked how fast the pane comes out leaving a gaping hole, no noise at all.
     
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  3. Stingray Don

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    Might have been a previous homeowner with a spare remote. Also, if you have access to the opener unit, it is pretty easy to sync with another remote including a car that is equipped with a garage door opener option. When I sold my last house I still had the garage door programmed into my car. I have since deleted it.

    Funny story. When I bought my current house. The keypad outside the garage door had the house number as the default PIN as it had never been changed (until I did it). I’ll bet half the houses in my neighborhood can still be opened using the house number from the mailbox.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 11:47 AM
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  4. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Meh, based on most criminals demographics I’ve seen, I’d wager it ether malfunctioned or he left it open.
     
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  5. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Several times I have come home to an open garage door and discovered that something had fallen across the electric eye and I just hadn't noticed that it didn't close when I left.
     
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  6. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member

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    One of my favorite youtube channels. A bit high-level of video but good example. And yes, they are easily hackable if you have a low security level door.

     
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  7. wrbix

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    At a previous vacation home way out in the boonies, the unattached garage door would sometimes on our arrival be found opened/up. Nothing missing.
    Assumed it was “stray radio waves” and took to opening the circuit breaker to the garage when we left.
     
  8. tawood

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    Your typical burglar would pawn any garage door hacking device for heroin money before actually having a chance to use it...I'm of the belief it was either left open, or failed, and along came an opportunist...
     
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  9. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    My nextdoor neighbor was traveling once. I noticed his garage door open, and called the police.

    By the time the officer had arrived, the door was shut. I was standing with the cop in the driveway by the closed door, explaining that it HAD been open earlier, and the resident DEFINITELY was out of town.

    Then the door started to open. We both jumped, 'cept he came down with his hand on his gun.

    The door rose a couple of feet, then stopped. I opened it the rest of the way, and the cop searched the garage and house.

    Best we could determine, the opener for this door (in the car parked in the garage) had a glitch. I think the cop mentioned that one particular model was prone to that. We closed the door, unplugged the opener, and the owner changed controls when he got home.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  10. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    I closed my garage door, turned to the house and went in.

    But later it was open. Even later I discovered my neighbors cat had been inside................ran out when the door was coming down.........triggered the up sensor!!
     
  11. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    When my neighbor would turn on her car alarm my garage door would open.
    Apparently on the same frequency.
     
  12. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow!
     
  13. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Yeah... took us several months to figure out what was happening.
     
  14. DaleB

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    Who needs an opener?? Most of them will open quite easily if you just grab the garage door and PULL. It takes surprisingly little force to overpower the opener and raise the door, even without the handles that we used to put on the outside.
     
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  15. Lowflynjack

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    We had some recent burglaries in our neighborhood. They were kids who only preyed on those who made it really easy for them. Not locking your garage door at night is not wise on it's own. It becomes really dumb when you have your cars in the driveway with the garage door opener in plain site or built into your car. Leaving your car unlocked on top of everything else just makes you a moron. They would open the car doors and search the cars, then when done, they opened the garage door and went to hide and see if anyone came out. Luckily a lot of us now have cameras, so they were eventually caught.
     
  16. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No, that would be your typical heroin addict. Sometimes burglars are just burglars. And sometimes they're very well equipped and knowledgeable about it. Of course if it was a real pro who hacked the door, they probably would have closed the door behind them to leave fewer clues.
     
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  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Mine takes more force than that, probably because the springs are old and weak, but I still haven't felt it necessary to install an electric opener. (If I were married, it might be different.)
     
  18. tawood

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    And your typical burglar is a heroin addict...so...

    You watch too much tv
     
  19. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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    This has happened to us, as we generally take off as soon as we see the door coming down. Windy days when leaves are falling got us once.
     
  20. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I make it a point to check the rear view mirror as I drive away to make SURE it’s down. Our neighbors had a car stolen from their garage. Of course the garage door was left up all night, car unlocked with the keys in it... :rolleyes:
     
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  21. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    If you haven't modified the pull cord that disconnects the automatic garage door trolley(?) from the drive mechanism, it's a simple thing to slip something like a wire clothes hangar into the gap at the top of the door, hook the rope and pull. You can then just lift the door manually. Search youtube for ways to make this vulnerability go away or just remove the pull rope.
     
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  22. tawood

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    I think I'm one of the few people around that locks my cars INSIDE the garage...
     
  23. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    My wife used to do that. Inconvenient as hell. I don’t leave the keys in, though!!
     
  24. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't watch TV. Nice try though.
     
  25. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And I’m sure some crack heads are excellent parents too, however odds being the odds and all. 98% are just target of opportunity types, and the VERY few “pros” are going to be targeting big scores, no the random dudes place.


    I’ve been told, and from what I’ve read, it’s not as much a protect the garage thing, as that’s the place you’re most likely to get hit by burglars/strong armed, I always keep a eye on my rear view as I come into the property, after I turn the car lights off, I look again and wait half a second before I shut the car off and get out (car has auto locks).

     
  26. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Is that what you think I was trying to say? If so, uh no. Maybe its just a syntax hangup on mine but if my house is robbed by someone looking for heroin money, I'd call that person an addict, not a burgler. That's really all I was getting at. Shrug.



    Makes me appreciate living in woods I guess. I stop and verify the door closes behind me when I'm leaving. But this has much more to do with keeping the chickens from going in and pooping on the floor than with any concern about being robbed or strong armed by someone.
     
  27. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    We installed a garage opener last year, you still must pull the release chord to open manual, but you must also defeat the automatic lock. (both are manual) you ain't getting it done from outside.

    Plus the remote has a 6 digit dip switch code.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 8:10 PM
  28. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For sure

    I’m in the woods too, but still good to be alert.

    And what I was saying is the vast majority of people to steal stuff from homes are NOT “pros” they are your standard issues ghetto goblins, dumb as a brick and just looking for a easy score
     
  29. tawood

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    Very true. We're talking about home invasions here, not commercial burglary...
    Home invasion is high risk, low reward, and if its "random" it is done almost exclusively by addicts. The ones that aren't "random", are the break-ins where you have something specific, that someone else wants, or you have a common thief as a neighbor, etc. But, those are rare.
    Commercial burglary, on the other hand, does have more frequent "pros", but even then, not always.
     
  30. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-Flight

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    Always lock the door between the house and garage. I don't understand those that accept the risk in the name of convienience.

    Fixed code doors are fairly vulnerable. Rolling code is better, but at least theoretical attacks exist. If you park a car with a remote in it outside, they can be broken into to get the remote, and come back a different night. The emergency release is an easy target to bypass the opener. Some openers have a safety feature that when they have lost power, they open up when power returns.

    I always lock the door between the house and garage, and I always watch the door come to a full stop. I also don't have any garage door remotes in any of the cars, but I have not yet disabled the rolling code receiver yet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 8:37 PM
  31. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ofcourse I should probably mention the very good idea that is to carry for all the above reasons.
     
  32. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    annnnnd I'm out.
     
  33. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-Flight

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    When seconds count, police are minutes away.
     
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  34. gacoon

    gacoon Pre-Flight

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    I installed a power cutoff switch to each door. When I am gone for longer periods of time I cut the power and the door wont operate. Also some theifs have been known to some how thread someting inside to disconnect the track disconnect override. If you leave for an extended period of time you can use tie wraps to make this very very hard to do.
     
  35. DaleB

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    1.) I like the wall mount opener, when ours craps out I'm going to look seriously at them. I suspect they're expen$ive.
    2.) Dude... seriously... would you let a panel go out wired like that? If your contractor didn't do it right, you should at least tidy it up some! :) That rat's nest would bug the hell out of me.
     
  36. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    When we're gone for extended periods, we have a sliding bolt lock on both doors to lock them in the tracks. Otherwise all it takes is a good push or a pry bar to raise the door.

    And the door to the house is locked at night and when we're gone... just one more thing for the determined thief to break. Makes it more obvious that he or she was indeed breaking in with ill intent when the automatic railgun got 'em. :)
     
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  37. John221us

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    This ^
    Modern openers use a rolling code and are safer. Older fixed code ones are super easy to crack. I also have a Chamberlain MyQ that will send me a notification if the door is open more than 15 minutes.
     
  38. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I didn't want to cut a prewired chord, so I just doubled it up and zip tied it.
    works great.
     
  39. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Whole thing door and all was $1300 installed.
     
  40. Craig

    Craig Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When Reagan was in Cal. it used to drive some of the garage door openers within a 5 mile radius of AF-1 nuts. Seems that some of the com gear onboard had some spurious harmonics that would cause the openers to cycle at random times.