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13.5. Arming

The challenge of security is striking a balance between denying access to unauthorized users while minimizing the inconvenience imposed upon authorized users. In the context of home security, you need to allow your family to arm the alarm system when they leave the house or go to bed, and disarm it when they enter the house or wake up in the morning. Traditional alarm systems use a digital keypad, and when someone needs to arm or disarm the system, they enter a 4–10 digit code.

In Chapter 11, Keyless Entry Welcome Home, Eric provided a creative way to both unlock your home and disarm your system. A wireless transmitter sends an X10 signal that, when received by your computer, could disarm the alarm system. It's not the most secure thing, of course, because wireless X10 is a simple, unencrypted, unsigned protocol, and anybody with a wireless transmitter could disarm your system. However, they would have to know that you're using an X10-based alarm system and have talked to you about how your system is implemented. Hopefully, nobody that you know that well will attempt to break into your house!


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