In simple words, we can define a garage door opener as a motorized device that is controllable by wall switches or handheld remotes and assists us in opening and closing a garage door. There are different variants of garage door openers, such as belt driver openers, direct drive openers, jackshaft openers, and much more. Obviously, garage door openers help you get in and out of the garage more easily, but they also keep the door locked, which deters burglars. Therefore, the security of a garage door opener is of utmost importance. However, when it comes to the question of an opener being hacked, the answers might surprise you.
Is it possible to hack garage door openers?
In black and white terminology, garage door openers can be hacked. However, before you start panicking, it is essential to understand that government websites and even TESLA’s official site have been hacked. Simply put, anything and everything can be hacked, but everything depends on who the hacker is and what is at stake.
Nevertheless, older garage openers are hackable with the bat of an eyelid. The pre-1993 system for garage door openers was a collection of dipswitches set in stipulated directions, which produced a unique code. The garage door opener would react to that code when a remote with the corresponding code was activated. The primary fault of this system was it was incredibly easy to hack. Another easy way for thieves to enter your residence is to utilize the remote on your visor. Hackers also like to use a ‘code grabber,’ a tiny electronic gadget that permits them to obstruct the remote’s signal and swipe the code for their own misuse. So, how exactly can we curb such hacking? Let us find out.
Modern garage door openers – How safe are they from being hacked?
It is not all grim and gloomy, as modern garage door openers are pretty solid and safe. However, manufacturers realized how ill-intentioned people were hacking garage doors by simply bypassing the system at some point. It is in such a context that Security + 2.0 came to the rescue. In 1996, Chamberlain introduced its Security + system for garage doors that would provide homeowners from all over the world peace and calm. Modern garage door openers are currently equipped with Chamberlain and Liftmaster’s Rolling Code System, which protects garage access by sending a new code to the door opener at every click. Thus, there are no prospects of a garage door being opened by ‘chance.’
Hacking into a garage door with the Rolling Code system is extremely difficult as there are millions of technology, and one would need very expensive and high-tech technology to pull off the heist. However, there are other ways burglars could get inside your garage, which do not entail hacking. What are they, you ask? Well, let us find out.
OTHER WAYS THAT MAKE YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPENER VULNERABLE
- Someone Steals Your Garage Door Remote – Instead of trying to break their skulls by hacking your opener, criminals prefer to do things the old-school route. In case you forget your garage door remote inside your vehicle, there is a high possibility that someone might get inside your car and steal the remote. In case your garage door remote is stolen, the thieves will follow you back home to find out your address, and if you do not reset the opener code, they will use the remote to go inside your house once it is empty. Thus, the moment you realize that your garage door remote is missing, call the local garage door company and tell them to reset your code immediately. Then, the stolen remote will be rendered practically useless, and your home will be safe.
- Cloning Your Garage Door Remote – Some universal garage door remotes with a clone feature allow you to copy the remote if someone has access to it. Hence, you should not let anyone use your garage door remote if you wish to keep your abode secured.
Now that we have analyzed how a garage door opener can be hacked let us look at some modern solutions to keep garage door opener hacking at bay.
MODERN SOLUTIONS TO CURB GARAGE DOOR OPENER HACKING
Whether you have installed a new garage door opener in the last few days or you are in the market for a new one, some of the security features you should look for include –
- Authentication (Two-factor) – Smart garage door openers are internet-connected, thus they support two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication prevents people from hacking into the apps connected to your garage door opener.
- Security + and Security 2.0 – These are the rudimentary security features that every modern garage door opener should possess. They make hacking challenging by offering rolling codes and radio frequencies for the opener to operate.
- The myQ smartphone app – LiftMaster’s latest innovation – the myQ technology and the myQ app – enables you to control your garage door from anywhere at any time remotely. With features such as real-time alerts and push notifications, you can decide who gets access to your garage door at specific times.
- Install Security Cameras – Good old security cameras always come in handy, especially when integrated with myQ technology. For example, the smart garage camera that LiftMaster sells lets you see who is in your garage from anywhere with an internet connection.
- A Deadlock Never Goes Out of Style – A deadlock is a traditional way of keeping garage doors shut. By sliding the deadlock in place, you prevent thieves from quickly getting access inside your garage.
- Invest in a Motion Detector – By installing exterior lighting with motion detectors, you are sending quite strong signals to criminals that your house is not to be trifled with.
- Disengage the Opener – Lastly, when you are out of home for a while, do not forget to disengage your opener. You can do it by pulling the red cord hung on your garage door opener system. It is a strategy that makes it impossible for anyone to access your opener via hacking.
So, there we have it, a comprehensive answer to the question of whether or not garage door openers can be hacked.