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“How Can We Protect Our Home From Z-Wave Hack?” (…Hacking Your House Pt. 2)

Z-Wave hacking is very device-dependent. Some Z-Wave devices support encryption, which is good. The problem is that some of those devices implement it incorrectly and actually expose the encryption keys. While this is still more secure than having no security, it’s obviously open to attack by any ill-intentioned person with the right hardware.

Securing a Z-Wave system isn’t straightforward like a typical home network since every device doesn’t support the same protocol. We would need to know every Z-Wave device in the home, and then we would need to research each one to see which of them support encryption and which of those do it correctly. Then we would need to replace every device that doesn’t support encryption and re-program the system. And I don’t have access to the encryption info on every device. It would be a daunting task.

Most of the articles on powerline security (including the one we posted on our blog – click here to read article) are primarily about X-10, which is 30+ years old and has no security at all.

If you are using x-10 or Z-Wave powerline devices for your security system, or a deadbolt, you have two options. Either investigate the security of ALL devices in the system or replace them with something completely wireless (battery powered) or something running Zigbee Pro. The only Z-Wave devices I know of with effective security are the 2GIG and Honeywell security systems and the Schlage deadbolts. Not sure about any of the other deadbolts or security systems nor do I have info on any lighting systems. If you are using Z-Wave for home lighting automation only, then the need to secure it is far less important. The worst someone could do is turn lights on and off.

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