Unusual request:  Be able to unlock a building door using ethernet?

Posted on 2005-04-12
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi All,
I have a client that just got a remote IP camera setup to monitor an office that's usually staffed with one person.  Works great.  He wants to be able to unlock the door to that office remotely when certain circumstances arise.  The current door is a "normal" wooden door with a normal door knob unlockable with a normal metal key; nothing hi-tech or electronic about it.

My question, can anyone provide me references for where I might "retro" fit this door with a electro-mechanical device that can be triggered via the internet?

Any takers?

Question by:colepc
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Basically you can take any Badge-system (in Switzerland Avaxess is pretty common, but they all work pretty much the same). They can be installed onto almost any door and they all work in a way that they get an electronic signal from the badge-reading device. This electronic device then triggers a relay that will actually open the door. Now doing it over the ethernet basically means that you need to be able send this signal from your ethernet-device. I know that Axis-Netcams ( can do so as they have an i/o port... I did something similar with a motion detector, that started the cam and switched on a light.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    neteducation is correct.

    It's very easy to find that the controlling software was written with and MSDB SQL database running in the background with a default of username SA (administrative rights) with a BLANK PASSWORD.

    Anyone who knows very little about SQL can open the database tables within nanoseconds and not only set door times to unlock the next time someone "updates the panel" but also change in the tables who did what where and when.  Yes, even the big names in security leave that GIANT HOLE in their software.  

    I'd definitely check for that vulnerability prior to purchasing the system.
    LVL 27

    Accepted Solution

    Any electromagenetic lock (mag lock) connected to an automation panel could do it.  Many automation panels have web interfaces.  For residential, check out Home Automation, Inc. (HAI) at also check out  The security of the system would depend on a decent firewall with competently written access rules, such as a Checkpoint, Pix, Sonicwall, Raptor, etc.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Hi.  Do you need additional info?

    Author Comment

    THanks to all.  pseudocyber answered the question best.

    Featured Post

    Give your grad a cloud of their own!

    With up to 8TB of storage, give your favorite graduate their own personal cloud to centralize all their photos, videos and music in one safe place. They can save, sync and share all their stuff, and automatic photo backup helps free up space on their smartphone and tablet.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Lets look at the default installation and configuration of FreeProxy 4.10 REQUIREMENTS 1. FreeProxy 4.10 Application - Can be downloaded here ( 2. Ensure that you disable the windows fi…
    PRTG Network Monitor lets you monitor your bandwidth usage, so you know who is using up your bandwidth, and what they're using it for.
    After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
    In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

    730 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now