When new technology replaced old-fashioned cut keys with electronic readers there was one aspect of apartment living that took a step back – security.
It was actually quite difficult to get locksmiths to cut copies of high-security keys. And that made it hard to allow free access to overcrowded apartments – elaborate key drop plans had to be organised, like spies in a John Le Carre novel.
But then there was the intercom – wire up a mobile phone to trigger the entry button and all you had to do was give your 36 tenants the phone number and they could get access to your three-bedroom flat (that’s counting the laundry cupboard as a room).
Then along came electronic key fobs and security went out the window with anyone and everyone able to copy fobs for as many people as they wanted.
Have a look at this video from a Current Affair to get an idea of the extent of the problem.
The Owners Corporation Network internal mail has been running hot with this all week:
“Two important things coming out of this,” says Franck the French.
“1: There is no current definition of what is an RFID security access card/fob. thus not subject to security laws and legally possible to be duplicated regardless our building by-laws!”
“2: Over 95% of residential buildings are equipped with unsecured access control system, access cards/fobs that can be duplicated. (it’s accurate as i walked myself all the streets of Sydney/Melbourne/Gold coast, to create my own security map)
“I’m happy to finally hear that the regulation is going to be reviewed after asking for it since years! Between 2014 and today, I managed to stop over 20 illegal key dealers between Sydney and Melbourne, today one more is almost out even if his websites are still running right now!
“Knowing how easy it is to duplicate a key, there is no doubt that slumlords overcrowding our residential buildings are using key cloner machines without the help of any illegal key dealers.
Conclusion, this problem will keep growing up like i predicted years ago and the only way to stop it, is to review current access control systems that are for most of them hackable.”
Hear-hear, Frank. You derive a medal for services to security. If anyon is interested in joining OCN – the only independent voice for apartment owners, go to ocn.org.auby