back to article Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

Yale Security UK says it is repairing its online systems after some unplanned maintenance turned into a total outage – and prevented folks from controlling their Yale smart home alarms via its smartphone app. The locksmith said it was working through the night into Friday morning to address the gremlins that had left its users …

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  1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    lock escalation?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Lock contention?

      1. doublelayer

        Deadlock?

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Dreadlock?

  2. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..." - and PJMorgan never considered what would happen if he lost his phone/signal/cloudy app? Personally, I'd be keeping very quiet if I'd allowed that to happen to me.

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      I also wonder why he didn't just enter the property, trigger the alarm, and then simply silence the alarm with PIN/fob/whatever.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Joke

      I think he's suffering from priority inversion...

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Beat me to it. If I had a resume from this guy and googled him and found that tweet his resume would go into the circular file. What a moron!

      What was his plan to "enter his property" if his phone was lost, stolen, broken or out of battery?

      1. SloppyJesse
        Facepalm

        > What was his plan to "enter his property" if his

        > phone was lost, stolen, broken or out of battery?

        Backup phone fully charged with the app installed underneath the dustbin, obviously. The guy's not a complete idiot...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He must be very new at this IT work thing... Because it shouldn't take that long to notice how fragile a lot of that IT stuff is.

    5. rmason Silver badge

      @tfewster

      Came here to say that too.

      "I work in IT and decided ONLY having access to my property via an app was a good idea"

      What an absolute sponge.

    6. Down not across

      Re: "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..."

      I would expect an engineer working in IT to understand the difference between unplanned and planned maintenance.

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..."

        "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"

        ROFL What a muppet and to compound it he told the world what a muppet he is!

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..."

          Indeed, it's only the alarm, it isn't like he fit a £400 Yale door lock that works via the same system.

          Wait, what's that? They sell exactly that?

          Fail.

          1. defiler Silver badge

            Re: "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..."

            Came here fully expecting this legitimate tirade.

            I looked at the Yale smart alarms when I was alarm shopping. Then I realised that it offered me almost precisely nothing I cared about and introduced 1000 things that could go wrong and which I was in no control of.

            At least one of those should have flagged itself in the mind of an 'IT' 'engineer'. Unless, of course, he's a civil engineer who unjams printers because nobody's pouring concrete just now.

    7. BOFHfollower

      PJ Morgan Rollback

      Surely he had a rollback plan!

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: PJ Morgan Rollback

        Well my rollback plan would be to have locksmith on my phone, have a key with a member of the family.

        Anything to stay away from an iot crappy lock.

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: PJ Morgan Rollback

          "have a key ..."

          A key? How 20th century. How about a 18th century solution -- a brick or cobble through the window?

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: PJ Morgan Rollback

            Since none of your neighbours know or care who you are, the moment you do this the old bill will turn up and nick you (As they are all nosey neighbours).

    8. Craig 2

      "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..."

      Who signed off on him not carrying alternative options? What was his rollback plan? Calls himself an IT engineer....

  3. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"...

    Use a brick (or your phone) to smash in a window...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"...

      "Use a brick (or your phone)"

      Not a lot of difference if the app's not working.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"...

        In my experience on the Hell Desk, the phrases "I'm an engineer" or "I work in IT" usually means the grand sum of the caller's technical experience is that they once upgraded the video card in a computer that they purchased from a retail store.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"...

          I've worked in IT for almost half my life at this point, and I never use it to pull rank with helpdesk staff. For one thing it doesn't actually help.

          I will say that this Yale screwup offends my sense of professionalism, though. It's painful watching someone do something you're good at badly.

        2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: "I'm an engineer"

          Reminds me of an incident in a London Transport ticket office many year's ago where a bloke dumped a pile of shrapnel (1p's and 2p's) in the cash bowl to buy a tube ticket. The booking office clerk said "Sorry, I'm afraid that's not legal tender." The bloke then went into meltdown about how he was a lawyer and how he was going to sue London Transport. He even got his cheque book out to prove he had LLB after his name.

        3. stiine
          Thumb Down

          Re: "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"...

          re AC "In my experience on the Hell Desk, the phrases "I'm an engineer" or "I work in IT" usually means the grand sum of the caller's technical experience is that they once upgraded the video card in a computer that they purchased from a retail store."

          You must work for Comcast or AT&T.

          The last time I called AT&T to report a problem with their equipment, I had to remove my commercial firewall and connect the link directly to my pc because they said my commercial firewall (which had only recently been relocated from an office network to my home network) was not compatible with their service (that was the same at both the office, and my house).

        4. Fonant

          Re: "I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"...

          See also: opinions that start with "I'm a cyclist..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it's down because they are installing a back door.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ultimate security: it won't even let the owner in.

    1. monty75 Silver badge

      This is IoT we're talking about. It probably lets in everyone *except* the owner.

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Well you have to allow your groceries and all your Amazon deliveries to get inside the door while you are at work. So that is likely. The solution? order something for immediate delivery and follow the delivery inside.

  6. Giovani Tapini

    I still have an old-school rule to follow

    Never trust an electronic lock.

    Also note - lock makers are better at engineering than software and have made the most basic errors more than defeating all but the illusion of security. This may change one day, but I will not be holding my breath.

    Either way, their server has locked up, their PR team has locked down communication, and people are locked out of the homes. All I need is a lock in at my pub to finish the day...

    1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      Re: I still have an old-school rule to follow

      Never trust an electronic lock.

      It's not a good idea to put blind trust in a *mechanical* lock either. Mechanical locks have two advantages, though:

      * They continue to be locked, and unlockable, when the power is off.

      * Someone trying to open them has to be physically present at the lock while doing it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I still have an old-school rule to follow

      I think this was affecting their alarms, rather than the Yale smart locks. Nobody who had the system properly set up should have been prevented from entering their home - it was only the app that didn't work so the keypad/fobs were still functioning (they work completely independently of the "smart" side of it). And the alarm system continues to function without internet or power, it just can't send alerts.

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: I still have an old-school rule to follow

        You can buy an add on module for the Keyfree electronic lock so that you can use the App for locking and unlocking, iirc.

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: I still have an old-school rule to follow

      Given the trackrecord of the likes of MasterLock I wouldn't trust the engineering side of em all that much either.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> people aren't going to stop using them because of one small issue like this

      True, but that's because they are idiots.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
    3. m0rt Silver badge

      "To be fair, they are at least doing maintenance and attempting to improve the system and security that they are providing the public"

      So....doing a shit job is ok because at least the job is getting done, right?

      Cool.

    4. Down not across

      To be fair, they are at least doing maintenance and attempting to improve the system and security that they are providing the public...

      Given it was unplanned maintenance it sound more like something went wrong and they were trying to fix it rather than improving anything. Looks like they may have broken something else while trying to fix the original issue.

    5. EveryTime Silver badge

      > "To be fair, they are at least doing maintenance and attempting to improve the system ..."

      No. "Unplanned maintenance" is a PR phrase for "the system crashed, probably corrupting all of the data. We don't have a backup system, and the recovery plan was stored only on the system that crashed."

      1. 9Rune5

        and the recovery plan was stored only on the system that crashed

        I thought they stored the plan on an airgapped server safely tucked away in a small room secured with one of those fancy Yale locks (the ones that require an app to open).

  8. Lee D Silver badge

    "I’m an engineer, I work in IT, this is not acceptable. Who signed this work off? What was the rollback plan ? Call yourselves a security company ? Shameful. @BBCBreaking @Channel4News @BBCRadio4 @CNN @Reuters here is a story for you! I can’t enter my property I only have the App!"

    Gosh. You'd think a guy who worked in IT would understand the importance of a way to enter when the app went down, really wouldn't you? I mean, backups and resiliency, and all that. I wonder if he even has two Internet connections at home in case one fails and he can't get back in?

    People like this annoy me greatly - I work in IT and though Yale might be damn shoddy, for sure I wouldn't be embarrassing myself saying "I have no other way to get into my property except a smartphone app dependent on a third-party". For a start, I'd have a manual key lock or a bypass code on a secondary lock that overrode it, even if I never really needed to use it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've got a Yale smart alarm, and have a keypad inside that can be used to arm/disarm. If this guy has chosen not to install one of those (and I'm not sure why - they're included when you buy the thing) that's bloody stupid. You can also get key fobs and tags, so there's really no excuse.

      I really wouldn't want to rely on the Yale software at the best of times, it's quite buggy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If this guy has chosen not to install one of those ...

        Maybe he's not the owner, but only a tenant?

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: If this guy has chosen not to install one of those ...

          Maybe he's not even a tenant, but a squatter.

          Or just an idiot who has no concept of redundant systems.

        2. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: If this guy has chosen not to install one of those ...

          Then he probably wouldn't say "my property" and would probably be yelling at his landlord, instead of Yale.

          1. fajensen Silver badge

            Re: If this guy has chosen not to install one of those ...

            Then he probably wouldn't say "my property" and would probably be yelling at his landlord, instead of Yale

            The average Daily Mail reader would absolutely say "my property" about their rented room in a shared flat a good 40 minutes walk from the tube!

  9. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    They fuxxored up the live system then "restored" that over the backups instead of the other way around, didn't they...,

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