This Hacked Kids’ Toy Opens Garage Doors in Seconds

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    This Hacked Kids’ Toy Opens Garage Doors in Seconds

    Americans’ garages, those sacred suburban havens of automobiles and expensive tools, are probably more important to us than many of our online accounts. But some garages are only protected by a code whose security is equivalent to a two-character password. And security researcher Samy Kamkar can crack that laughable safeguard in seconds, with little more than a hacked child’s toy.

    On Thursday, Kamkar revealed a new tool he’s created called OpenSesame, which he says can open any garage door that uses an insecure “fixed code” system for its wireless communication with a remote. Built from a discontinued Mattel toy called the IM-ME, altered with a cheap antennae and an open source hardware attachment, Kamkar’s less-than-$100 device can try every possible combination for these garage doors and open them in seconds.

    Kamkar’s OpenSesame device: a reprogrammed Radica IM ME texting toy.

    Samy Kamkar

    “It’s a huge joke,” says Kamkar, a serial hacker who works as an independent developer and consultant. “The worst case scenario is that if someone wants to break into your garage, they can use a device you wouldn’t even notice in their pocket, and within seconds the garage door is open.”

    Before barricading or booby-trapping your garage against OpenSesame intruders, it’s important to note Kamkar’s exploit doesn’t work against just any garage door—only ones that respond to a “fixed code” wirelessly transmitted by a remote instead of a more secure “rolling code” that…

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