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

Posted on 2005-04-12
Medium Priority
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

ID: 13767097
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 (www.axis.com) 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

ID: 13768488
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

pseudocyber earned 2000 total points
ID: 13768519
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 http://www.homeauto.com also check out http://www.smarthome.com.  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

ID: 13789957
Hi.  Do you need additional info?

Author Comment

ID: 13790385
THanks to all.  pseudocyber answered the question best.

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