Updated: Jul 2, 2021
Have you ever used keypad locks?Do you think the keypad locks are safe and secure? Can keypad locks be hacked?
Keypad locks will provide keyless open your lockers. “That sounds great,” you might say, however, one question remains, namely, how safe are they?
Can keypad locks be hacked? Keypad locks can be hacked if the wireless network they are working over has not been set up and secured properly. Keypad locks that do not use any wireless signals cannot be hacked but are usually not a lot safer than standard locks as an experienced locksmith can pick them.
It is worth noting that having your keypad lock hacked is probably one of the least likely ways that someone will open you lockers.
However they can indeed be hacked. It's worth knowing that this will be something that can happen, as well as understanding some best practices to reduce the chances of someone actually doing so.
Is there any vulnerability in the keypad lock?
Some keypad locks will be very simple and easy to use. They don't really stand out from the rest because they don't have any complex features. They are usually not connected to the Internet and therefore much less likely to be hacked. (But that doesn't mean they are thief-proof).
However, there are other, more advanced keypad locks that can integrate with your smart home security devices. (Or at least the ability to connect online, allowing you to control the keypad lock through an app on your phone). Those network-connected keypad locks are usually at a higher risk of being hacked.
The Wireless Network
Usually, there is no security problem with the keypad lock itself. The problem with keypad locks can be described as a design issue. A keypad lock is designed to be accessible by any device on the local network where the keypad works.
Usually, as long as the device is connected to the network, no additional authentication is required. This means that if someone manages to get into your wireless network, they could theoretically also get into your keypad lock and hack it.
The Length of the Passcode
The longer the password, the harder it is for others to guess. It's that simple. Let's compare a few different length passwords and how many variations there are - just to put things in perspective. Most keypad locks allow 4 to 6 digit passwords.
A 4 digit passcode has 10,000 different combinations;
A 5 digit passcode has 100,000 different combinations;
A 6 digit passcode has 1,000,000 different combinations;
You have to be careful what kind of passcode (or PIN) you are going to be using to unlock or lock your lockers.
Can All Keypad Locks Be Hacked?
For a keyboard to be hacked, you need a way to communicate with it. That's why the most hackable keypad locks are the ones that are connected to the Internet.
However, not all keyboards will be connected to your wireless system. Therefore, not all keypad locks will have signals that hackers can intercept and use to their advantage. So, does this mean that some keyboards are impossible to hack?
If we focus on semantics, the answer will be yes. However, this does not mean that they cannot be picked or bypassed in a different way.
The reality is that some keypad locks can be easily bypassed using different low-skill techniques and methods.
What I want you to be aware of is that there are different types of keypad locks. Some are attached to your existing deadbolt, while others may have their own deadbolt or fully fledged door locks.
All standard deadbolts and door locks can be picked fairly quickly by a skilled locksmith and constitute a weakness in and of themselves.
There are also keyless keypad locks on the market, but that doesn't mean they are any more secure, as they will also have weaknesses that can be exploited.
How to Prevent Your Keypad Lock From Being Hacked
Everything can be considered hackable to some extent. (Sometimes it's just a matter of time before someone finds a vulnerability they can exploit.) Just like any lock is pickable if the thief has the experience, the right tools, and most importantly, enough time.
However, there are some things we can do to improve security and reduce the chances of the keypad lock being hacked.
Regularly Change Your Passcode
Don't forget to update your keypad lock's code regularly. This way, you can reduce the wear and tear to just a few numbered keys. (It is recommended to clean your keypad lock to prevent dust from accumulating on keys that are not in use).
Use Hard to Guess Passwords
Always use a long, random password. Passwords should not follow any particular pattern or have any text. The best passwords are usually longer passwords (more than six characters) with different combinations of numbers, lower- and upper-case letters, and symbols.
This also applies to the app (if your keypad lock works with one) and your internet connection. Make sure to use two-factor authentication if and when available to make things extra hard for opportunistic hackers.
Set Up A Second Layer of Security
There are no 100% thief-proof or hacker-proof keypad locks. Actually, there is no thief-proof lock, regardless of the type of lock.
That's why it's recommended to never simply rely on one layer of security.
Make sure you have a second layer of security. This will involve security cameras, door and window sensors, and motion sensors.
Professionally monitored home security systems are always desirable because they provide an excellent level of security and will act as a good deterrent to opportunistic thieves who may have found their way through or around your keypad lock.