Do you have a remote controlled garage door opener? They sure are handy for driving in and out of your garage, especially in bad weather. But if you keep anything of value in your garage, you better read this story. A huge security flaw has been discovered that could let a kids toy open certain garage doors. Follow along and I'll explain.
There's a cheap kids' toy from Mattel - the IM-Me - that allows young girls without phones to instant message and chat online with their friends. See a commercial for the toy below:
The discontinued toy seems innocent enough, but that's until one security researcher, Samy Kamkar, got his hands on it.
Kamkar was able to create a program called OpenSesame that uses an "insecure fixed code" system to open any garage door that responds to a fixed code, in any neighborhood.
On top of writing the code, all he had to do was attach a cheap antenna and open source hardware to the toy and he was done. He even published a video showing you how to do this hack yourself.
Kamkar told Wired Magazine:
“It’s a huge joke ... The worst case scenario is that if someone wants to break into your garage, they can use a device you wouldn’t even notice in their pocket, and within seconds the garage door is open.”
Kamkar also noted that his own garage door was vulnerable. Could yours be too? Kamkar posted the video below to YouTube to help you figure it out and what you can do to protect yourself.