Have you put much thought lately into what’s stored in your garage? If you have valuables in there next to your car, you might want to think about the hacking potential of your garage door. As it turns out, even your children’s old toys can be ideal for hacking into your home.
Samy Kamkar, a security researcher, has found a way to hack a common Mattel toy to turn it into a universal garage door opener. The toy Kamkar used, IM Me, is a discontinued pocket computer. It allows children to chat with pals who are nearby.
IM Me isn’t much more than a piece of open source hardware and an antenna. However, it turns out that the toy is actually incredibly hackable. Kamkar enabled the device (which he is calling OpenSesame) to crack any garage code door, making it a universal “key” to garages everywhere. Anyone could walk by, use the device, and open your garage door in seconds without you noticing it, he tells Wired.
The inner workings of OpenSesame are complex, but it’s efficient due to the fact that it only needs to work its way through a few thousand possible passcode combinations. OpenSesame was able to open a garage door in under a minute, brute forcing its way through the four different frequencies Kamkar found in susceptible garage doors.
Kamkar has his fair share of experience in cracking locks of all types. He’s responsible for the making the Combo Breaker, which can crack locks in 30 seconds or less. He composed the Combo Breaker out of a small stepper motor, an optical sensor, and an Arduino. The DIY machine is made with all of the right materials (which Kamkar sells on his website). In total, it’ll cost you $100, but it’s everything you need to exploit the common padlocks you find on everything from gates to lockers.