"The Most Secure Door Contacts Available" Claims Magnaspehere

By: Ethan Ace, Published on May 23, 2016

Magnasphere says they are "the most secure door contacts available", claiming that typical door contacts can be defeated with only a cheap magnet, an "EXPLOITABLE operational flaw and construction weakness."

Magnasphere claims their proprietary design eliminates these flaws and makes high security available to any alarm system.

In this note, we take a look at the problem, Magnasphere's claims and product line, and 3 key disadvantages.

*************** **** *** "*** most ****** **** ******** available", claiming **** ******* **** contacts *** ** ******** with **** * ***** magnet, ** "*********** *********** flaw *** ************ ********."

*********** ****** ***** *********** design ********** ***** ***** and ***** **** ******** available ** *** ***** ******.

** **** ****, ** take * **** ** the *******, ***********'* ****** and ******* ****, *** 3 *** *************.

[***************]

The *******: ******** ****** ********

*** ****** *****, ******** reed ****** ******** ******** used ** **** ***** systems *** ****** ******** using * ******* *** a **** ***** ******. Intruders *** *** ******* to ****** *** ******* on/in *** ****/******, *** keep place *** ****** ** that *****. **** ***** the ******* ****** ***** opening *** ****, ******* users ******* *** ************ that ** ********* *** occurred.

*********** ************ **** ******* in **** *****:

**** **** **** ****** does *** **** ** every ****, ********* ** which ****** ** **** as **** ** ****/***** construction, *** *** ***** be **** ******* ****** or **** ***** **** frames. 

Magnasphere **. **** ********

******* ******** ******** ****** ******* of *** ********* "*****" of *****, ***** ***** when * ****** ** near, ********** *** ****, allowing ** ******** ** bypass *** *****:

*********** ****** ** ********* this ************* ** ***** a ********* ****** ***** rolls ****** ****** *** contact, ****** ******* **** a ******* *** **** the **** ** ******. 

 

****** ********** 

** * *********** *******, the ********* ****** ** the ******* ** ****** up/to *** **** **** a ****** ****** ** introduced ** ********* ***** normally *******, ******* *** switch *** ******* ** alarm (**** *****). **** differs **** ******* **** switch ******** ***** *** simply **** ******.

**** **** *********** ******** may ***** ** ******** if * **** ****** *** be ******* ******* *** contact *** *** ****. However, ******* **** ****** into ***** ******* ********** *** Magnasphere ******* *** ** difficult.

Product *********

*********** ****** ******* ****** of ********, ********* ************** ***** *** ******** models, ** **** ** overhead ****/**** ******** [**** no ****** *********], ******** models [**** ** ****** available], ***********-****** **** ******** ********.

******* *** * ******* *********** recessed **** ******* (***-****) is ~$* *** (********* street *****), ***** ******* contacts *** ** ***** online *** ** ****** as $*-*.

3 *** ***********

*********** *** ***** *** disadvantages ******** ** ******* magnetic ********:

  • **** ** ******** ********:** ***** ** ******** properly, *********** ******** **** be ********** ** *** sphere ***** ********. ******** ******** sideways ** ****** **** may ****** ** **** simply *** ******* (******* always **** ** ******. By ********, **** ******** can ** ****** ** any ***********, ******** **** to ** ****** **********, horizontally, ** *** ***** on *** ***** ** doors ** ****** ********, etc.
  • **** *********:*********** ******** *** ********* 2-3x the ***** ** ******** contacts. ***** **** **** not ****** ** **** in ***** *******, *********** placing ***** ****** *** contacts (**** ** ********** or ******** ********** ** high ****** ********* *******) **** find ** ******* **** expensive.
  • *** ***********:*********** **** *** ***** wired *********** ******** *** use **** *********** ******* (e.g., *********/******, ***, **, etc.), ***** **** ** these ************* ***** * variety ** ******** ******** in *********** ********. **** means **** ** ********** module **** ** **** to **** *** *********** contact *********** (******** ***** ID) ***** **** ******* and **********.

What ** *** *****?

**** ** *** ****:

**** *** **** ***********? Let ** **** ** the ******** *****.

Comments (12)

Grade 3 contacts in the uk use two reeds, one is the open close of the door. The other is to detect masking in this way.

Deployed them on a government project and they worked very well. Customer felt the added security was worth the additional cost, which was a minuscule part of the entire system cost.

In many systems, I mount door contacts on the side jambs especially when using wireless sensors, so I wouldn't be using this contact as much. And the person trying to defeat the door contact would have a few obstacles to overcome such as not knowing whether the second magnet was actually holding the switch closed. Then trying to secure the second magnet to the structure might be difficult. I've not heard of many intruders carrying magnets, a compass and tape for the purpose of defeating a contact. But well prepared burglars may use these techniques.

In my own home, I have the traditional magnet contacts, backed up by exterior and interior motion detection, glass break detectors and sensors on closet doors. So, I don't feel insecure with the traditional magnetic contacts. And, I always push for added detection zones.

I suppose, if someone is worried about this type of defeat, they can install additional magnets in doors and window channels as decoys and let the burglar wonder.

In many commercial projects, particularly at warehouses where high-value merchandise is stored, I have seen many attempts to defeat alarm devices in preparation for a later burglary. This has included the removal of surface mounted magnets from the door and taping them to the contact switch, the opening of a junction box and twisting of the wires to closed-loop contact switches together, and the covering of a motion detector with tape or by placing a box on top of it. In almost every case, these acts appeared to have been committed by an insider - an employee or contractor who had daytime access to the facility.

As a result, I now specify high-security contacts such as the Magnasphere on most projects of this type, as well as make sure that alarm devices and all associated wiring are protected against tampering.

(It's amazing how few installers (maybe 25% at best) use the tamper switches provided on detection devices or provide tamper switches on junction boxes that contain connections - but I'll save that rant for another day....)

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Why Don't Installers Use Tamper Switches?

Good points!

I think the default thought is that these incidents are always outsiders. I've seen contacts taped together or with a magnet sandwiched in, as well. I've seen a PIR taken off the wall and just sitting on a shelf, too. Insiders can do as much or more damage as intruders.

It's amazing how few installers (maybe 25% at best) use the tamper switches provided on detection devices or provide tamper switches on junction boxes that contain connections

I agree! And I think 25% is generous. I moved that point to another thread here... so the day for your rant is today!

Out of interest in the US is there a grading standard for the installation of Alarms? So low risk grade 1, home / small business grade 2, grade 3 commercial grade 4 banks? And the same for signalling systems? Just interested really :)

Kind of, but not really.

We have UL listings for High Security Levels 1 and 2, but that only specifies requirements devices must meet, not what a given facility needs. And they're really only used for government projects. And not even all of them, at that.

To my knowledge, there's no true overarching standards for what's required for various levels of security overall.

Does the same defeat principal hold true for the more expensive "balanced contacts" that are required on most government installations?

In short, yes:

That's a Magnasphere demo video, but there others on Youtube as well. It's more difficult and prone to error, but an insider with time who wants to leave a door unsecured can do it fairly easily.

We have been installing Magnasphere contacts on all new installations and repairs the cost is slightly more for a better device in my opinion. We also use the wireless contacts which I feel are of better quality that some manufacturers brand. These products are also made in the USA for those of us who prefer to buy American made.

We have used Magnasphere contacts with success. In addition, as many others noted, we use tamper switches. A bit of an upgraded cost, but worth it for many of our customers.

In a some cases, we use a combination of an LBM strike and door contact which provides status of both doors and locks. Seeing this more and more in healthcare facilities.

Magnasphere contacts may be installed in any orientation.  The magnetic ball is attracted to the ferrous metal ring and held in place when the door is open.  When the door is closed, the stronger magnetic field pulls the ball into place and closes (or opens) the circuit).

In short, Magnasphere contacts may be installed in the header or in the locking side frame.

Mike Keegan

VP - Security Products

Magnasphere

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Resideo AlarmNet Has Major Outage on Mar 12, 2020
AlarmNet suffered a major outage yesterday, impacting Total Connect, Resideo, and Honeywell / Ademco alarm customers. Inside we examine what...
Breaking Into A Facility Using Canned Air Tested on Jan 28, 2020
Access control is supposed to make doors more secure, but a $5 can of compressed air may defeat it. With no special training, intruders can...
Halo Smart Vape Detector Tested on Jan 16, 2020
The Halo Smart Sensor claims to detect vaping, including popular brand Juul and even THC vapes. But how well does it work in real world...
Hikvision DS 2nd Gen Intercom Tested on Dec 12, 2019
With its newest IP intercom, Hikvision proclaims users can 'get full control over an entrance' regardless of where it is installed, home or office...
Aiphone Video Intercom Tested (IX Series 2) on Nov 05, 2019
Aiphone was one of integrator's favorite intercom manufacturers but how well do their products work? The company's newest offering, the IX Series 2...
Lock Status Monitoring Tutorial on Oct 28, 2019
Just because access doors are closed does not mean they are locked. Unless access systems are using lock status monitoring, the doors and areas...
Securing Access Control Installations Tutorial on Oct 17, 2019
The physical security of access control components is critical to ensuring that a facility is truly secure. Otherwise, the entire system can be...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...
Access Control Request to Exit (RTE) Tutorial on May 13, 2019
For access controlled doors, especially those with maglocks, 'Request to Exit', or 'RTE' devices are required to override electrified locks to...
Camera Disruptor Wyze Enters Sensor / Security Market on Mar 28, 2019
Wyze, the company that has disrupted consumer IP cameras, combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturer, has just announced its expansion...

Most Recent Industry Reports

GeoVision Presents AI and Facial Recognition on May 22, 2020
GeoVision presented its AI analytics and facial recognition at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...
Density Presents Occupancy Monitoring For Coronavirus Protection on May 22, 2020
Density presented its cloud-based occupancy sensor to deal with Coronavirus at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A...
Openpath Presents Two Door PoE Controller on May 21, 2020
Openpath presented its new PoE controller at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Openpath including...
Bosch Presents MIC 7100 Extreme PTZs on May 21, 2020
Bosch presented its MIC 7100 Extreme PTZs at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Bosch...
Hikvision Chairman Targeted For Sanctions As Federal Watchdog Calls Out Hikvision "Serious Religious Freedom Violations" on May 21, 2020
The US government's religious freedom watchdog has criticized Hikvision for being "credibly implicated in serious religious freedom violations"....
Hikvision Temperature Screening Tested on May 20, 2020
Hikvision has ramped up the promotion of its 'temperature screening' system, including their salespeople arguing for no blackbody needed. But how...
Axxon Presents VMS 4.4 and AI Behavior Analytics on May 20, 2020
AxxonSoft presented its VMS 4.4 and AI behavior analytics at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...
Indoor Robotics Presents Tando Aerial Drones on May 20, 2020
Indoor Robotics presented Tando indoor autonomous drones at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from...
Directory of 89 Video Surveillance Startups on May 20, 2020
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly...
FLIR Cancelling Contract With X.Labs / Feevr on May 20, 2020
While X.Labs announced the signing of a new agreement with FLIR on May 12, 2020, FLIR said, in response, on May 18, 2020, that they had cancelled a...