Police warn about hackers who break into garage doors

in Crime/Featured/Headline and

The Redwood City Police Department is warning about hacker thieves who have “expanded their focus to many other electrical devices besides the computer” — including hacking into garage doors.

“Hackers have found that older style handheld remote garage door transmitters can be bypassed with a little bit of electrical wiring finesse,” the police department reported in its latest blog post. “Hackers can easily modify a standard door opener to accept a USB port, and software is readily available on the web to modify how it operates.”

In short, thieves can use a device that can remotely open garage doors. This ABC news report from a few years ago covered this topic.

Using rolling code technology in your garage system can help prevent this type of crime. For those without rolling code technology, police suggested these safety tips:

•While on vacation or away from home for extended periods of time, unplug the garage door opener unit or use a vacation lock on the wall console switch, which is an optional accessory on some garage door openers.

• Wireless keypads, which activate the garage door opener with a personal identification number (PIN), are available on most garage door systems. This allows family members to open the door without the use of a key or remote. Never disclose the PIN or leave it written down.

• Never leave the remote control in the car or with a parking attendant. It should be treated like a house key.

•Always lock the door from the garage to the inside of your home for greater safety and security.

•Check to make sure your garage door is closed when you lock your entry doors at night.