Can Alarm Systems Be Hacked?

Alarm Systems / Jul 11, 2024

We’ve all heard the horror stories: a family returns home from a weekend getaway to find their valuables gone, or a business owner discovers that their high-tech security system has been compromised. Alarms are the backbone of modern security systems, providing peace of mind to homeowners and business owners alike. However, the unsettling reality is that, much like any other digital technology, alarm systems are vulnerable to hacking. At Integrated Security Systems, we believe that knowledge is power. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the common vulnerabilities of alarm systems and offer expert preventative measures to keep your property secure.

Understanding the Risk

The first step in fixing any problem is to accept its existence. This situation is no different. While it may be unsettling to consider that your alarm system could be hacked, it’s crucial to acknowledge this possibility. There are individuals out there desperate enough, smart enough, and just plain audacious enough to learn how to infiltrate a security system.

While we at Integrated Security Systems are constantly innovating to create more effective home security solutions, hackers are evolving their techniques just as rapidly. This means that it’s not only essential for us to stay ahead of the curve but also for you, as a user, to understand the risks and take proactive measures. While wireless alarms are more susceptible to hacking, both have their vulnerabilities and recognising this is the first step towards enhancing your security.

Common Vulnerabilities

Understanding the common vulnerabilities in alarm systems can significantly enhance your ability to protect your property. Here are some key areas to focus on:

Password Weakness 

We all know the temptation of using simple passwords – after all, they’re easy to remember. However, passwords like “123456” or “password” are a hacker’s dream. The importance of strong, unique passwords for both routers and security systems cannot be overstated. Avoid using the same password across multiple platforms.

Public Wi-Fi Risks 

Public Wi-Fi networks are often less secure, making it easier for hackers to intercept data being transmitted. When you connect to your alarm system through an insecure network, you inadvertently expose your system to potential breaches. 

Camera Tampering

Your security cameras are your eyes when you’re not around, but even they can be tampered with. Hackers can disable or manipulate cameras, leaving your property vulnerable, this is especially bad when your alarm has been hacked too. To prevent this, it’s crucial to perform regular checks on your security cameras and system logs. Make sure your cameras are positioned securely and their software is up-to-date. Regularly reviewing footage and system logs can help you spot any unusual activity early on, allowing you to take action before a small problem becomes a big one.

Preventive Measures

Knowing the vulnerabilities is only half the battle – taking proactive steps to prevent these risks is where the real security lies. Here are some essential measures you can take to safeguard your alarm system:

Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Creating strong, unique passwords might seem like a chore, but it’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your system. Here are a few tips:

  • Make it long: Aim for at least 12 characters.
  • Mix it up: Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Avoid the obvious: Stay away from easily guessable passwords like names, birthdates, or common words.
  • Be unique: Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Each system and device should have its own unique password.
  • Use a password manager: These tools can generate and store complex passwords, so you don’t have to remember them all.

Regular Updates and Checks

Keeping your system updated ensures you have the latest protections against potential threats. Here’s what you should do:

  • Update software and firmware: Manufacturers regularly release updates to fix vulnerabilities and improve security. Make sure you’re installing these updates as soon as they’re available.
  • Perform regular checks: Regularly review your system logs and footage to spot any unusual activity.

Secure Network Usage

When accessing your security system remotely, always use a secure network. Here’s how:

  • Avoid public Wi-Fi: As tempting as it might be to check your system while sipping coffee at your local café, public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and risky.
  • Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection, providing an extra layer of security when accessing your system remotely. This makes it much harder for hackers to intercept your data.

Professional Assistance 

Sometimes, the best way to ensure your security system is properly configured and protected is to seek professional advice. Here’s why:

  • Expertise: Professionals have the knowledge and experience to identify vulnerabilities and implement robust security measures.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your system has been set up and reviewed by an expert can give you confidence that your property is well protected.
  • Ongoing support: Many security services offer ongoing support and monitoring, providing an extra layer of security and prompt response to any issues.

Case Studies

The Auckland Office Breach 

In Auckland, a small business owner experienced a shocking wake-up call when their office alarm system was hacked. The hacker gained access by exploiting a weak password on the office’s Wi-Fi router, which was set to the name of the company with ‘123’ on the end. While the owner made it this so employees could remember it easier, he ended up also making it easier for a hacker to disable his alarm system.

Resolution: After the incident, the business owner consulted with Integrated Security Systems to enhance their security. We helped them implement strong, unique passwords for all devices and suggested a VPN for secure remote access. They’ve since scheduled regular system updates and security checks with us. These measures not only restored their sense of security but also fortified their system against future attacks.

The Christchurch Home Intrusion

A family in Christchurch returned from holiday to find their home ransacked, despite having a state-of-the-art alarm system. The culprit? A hacker accessed the system through an unsecured public Wi-Fi network the mother had used to check the alarm status while on vacation. The hacker tampered with the security cameras and disabled the alarm, making the home an easy target.

Resolution: Following this distressing experience, the family sought professional assistance from Integrated Security Systems. They learned the importance of using secure networks and VPNs when accessing their alarm system remotely. Additionally, we helped them set up regular checks on their security cameras and system logs to ensure any suspicious activity would be promptly detected.


Don’t leave the safety of your home or business to chance. Take action now to secure your property and gain peace of mind. For personalised security solutions tailored to your specific needs, consult with Integrated Security Systems. Our team of experts is here to help you fortify your defences and stay one step ahead of hackers. Reach out today and let us assist you in creating a safer, more secure environment.