Smart locks may not be as secure as you think

Smart locks have a promising future thanks to convenience. However, before deciding to use this product and leave the house without bringing the key, users need to think carefully.

According to Abacus, a report by the Tianjin Consumer Association (China) confirmed that some types of smart locks are easily “passed” by thieves.

The association’s experts discovered and tested 6 inherent weaknesses on 38 smart lock models of domestic and international brands such as Samsung and Dormakaba (Switzerland).

Smart locks may not be as secure as you think
Smart locks can be easily purchased on many Chinese e-commerce sites for 0-520. (Image: Shutterstock).

One of the biggest problems turned out to be the smart lock’s signature fingerprint recognition feature . Out of 36 randomly selected smart lock types, 32 were disabled by fake fingerprints.

With the advantages of convenience, smart locks have won the hearts of many users in the West. AV-Test, an independent German security assessment organization, conducted a test in 2017 and came to the conclusion that most smart locks are free of vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

However, in the past, security researchers have found ways to disable certain types of smart locks.

Since the beginning of 2019, China has begun to warn users about the quality of smart locks. Specifically, a consumer safety watchdog claimed that 15% of the top 40 smart locks they tested could be completely bypassed.

The Chinese side has also issued warnings about locks equipped with facial recognition function and using smart cards.

According to the Consumer Associations in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, among the key types that have been “passed” are products of brands advertised with the ability to distinguish real and fake fingerprints.

Smart locks may not be as secure as you think
Smart locks may not be as secure as you think , put the printed image in front of the facial recognition key, or use something called a “black box”. (Photo: JSTV/Miaopai).

The list includes some well-known brands such as device maker Haier and Qihoo 360, China’s largest cybersecurity company.

The association began stringing together the reports after a video went viral in China claiming that “small black boxes” could easily break into smart locks.

In fact, these boxes that emit electromagnetic pulses are not effective against modern smart locks. However, the report reveals several other security issues of smart locks.

Specifically, of the 26 types of locks tested through the use of smart cards, 24 were disabled. Some smart locks stop working when the temperature drops very low.