Reverse-engineering the ABUS Secvest Wireless Intruder Alarm System's Radio Protocol

May 10, 2012 at 01:00 AM | categories: wireless, reverse engineering

This report documents an analysis of the wireless interface of an ABUS Secvest burglar alarm system. The analysis is based on passively received radio datagrams, which were reverse-engineered. Because the protocol offers no protection mechanism against attacks, the Secvest system cannot grant confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of communication. This is a security weakness, especially if messages are transmitted via a shared and remotely accessible medium.

Until now there is no public review available in which the effective protection level of the Secvest system is examined. The weak link is the system’s wireless interface: ABUS doesn’t use encryption and message authentication and not even a simple rolling code, which is a common technique even for garage door openers. The lack of protection mechanisms allows an attacker to eavesdrop radio communication and to inject their own datagrams by spoofing addresses of components belonging to an alarm system.

FU8000 radio module