Pxhere (Public Domain)

Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in smart home platform to unlock front doors

The affected company has released a fix and discontinued the product.


Mikael Thalen


Published Jul 2, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 9:25 am CDT

Two security researchers have revealed vulnerabilities in a popular smart home system that could allow an attacker to unlock your front door.

The research, published Tuesday by Chase Dardaman and Jason Wheeler, shows how a series of flaws in a product from smart home company Zipato can be combined to enter any user’s home in just a matter of seconds.

The hacking duo first announced their findings in March but waited until Zipato was able to develop a fix for the issue before releasing details on how the attack is performed.

The vulnerabilities were discovered in the Zipamicro, a hub used to control a range of smart home devices such as Nest thermostats and Philips Hue light bulbs.

Dardaman and Wheeler found a way to gain root access on the product, allowing them to control the device without knowing the password.

Although the researchers noted that such an attack would require a hacker to use the same WiFi network as the Zipamicro, any such devices connected to the open internet could be unlocked remotely. Using Shodan, a search engine that locates devices connected to the open internet, the researchers were able to find five vulnerable Zipamicro products.

In addition to fixing the currently available vulnerable products’ bugs, Zipato also discontinued selling new Zipamicro devices as well.

Unfortunately, such vulnerabilities are seemingly common in smart home technology. Just last month, Google was forced to fix a flaw that allowed Nest camera owners be spied on.


Got five minutes? We’d love to hear from you. Help shape our journalism and be entered to win an Amazon gift card by filling out our 2019 reader survey.

H/T TechCrunch

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 2, 2019, 4:12 pm CDT