The protection of personnel, hardware, programs, networks, and data from physical circumstances and events.

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How do I report a vulnerability to a large organization that doesn't believe it has a problem?

This issue is more political than technical. The organization has a lot of computers that connect via web browser to a central database. Customers are regularly left unattended with physical access ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Is it possible to prevent a physical attack on full disk encryption?

I've been researching into some methods to ensure that disk encryption keys can't be stolen, and one that I've come across is called TRESOR. With this kernel patch, you can create a partition that is ...
9
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2answers
1k views

How does one evaluate tamper-resistant envelopes/packaging?

In contrast to digital cryptographic algorithms and protocols where many qualified high-IQ individuals dig into the details and specifics, physical tamper resistance for low-tech packages is not ...
9
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1answer
246 views

Physical security - responsible disclosure

I recently discovered a way to bypass a commonly used security seal system, requiring no special equipment and taking only a matter of seconds. I feel obliged to disclose this, so as to avoid the ...
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6answers
8k views

Is it safe to use virtual machines when examining malware?

We want to study for the CEH program and have downloaded 12 DVDs that 6 DVDs are software key-loggers, Trojans, etc. that are all detected by antivirus. This prevents us from examining them and ...
8
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4answers
401 views

How to test a physical machine?

In two weeks time, I will have to test a couple of computers that a client would like to provide to its employees. The main concern is making sure that the employees won't be able to use those ...
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5answers
1k views

What Man-made Physical Threat Could Pose Severe Danger to a Server Farm?

I am writing a novel in which a researcher attempts to work against a study he is a part of by purposely sabotaging operations on the research compound. I am wondering if the following is plausible. ...
8
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4answers
530 views

Best practices for physically securing a notebook

If the user knows that other people will repeatedly have physical access to her notebook - running Linux - while she is absent, and that there is no way around this, what are best practices for ...
8
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3answers
468 views

Securing a LAN without Physical Security

I've got an interesting dilemma. I have a large (50+ users) office that is going to be on the campus of a local university. The purpose is to foster collaboration, etc, but the open environment is ...
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1answer
1k views

Is there a way to physically trace stolen hardware?

This must have been asked before, but I cannot find any related question. Is it possible to put into hardware, some kind of "transmitter", so that in the event of it getting stolen, it can be ...
8
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2answers
347 views

Building's server room is unlocked: What danger is my building in?

In one of the buildings I work in, there are lawyers and accountants, web developers and marketers, and numerous other small businesses. Everyone's (shared) internet is routed through the same server ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between Simple Power Analysis and Differential Power Analysis?

What is the difference between Simple Power Analysis (SPA) and Differential Power Analysis (DPA) and why is it not possible to do an SPA attack on FPGAs? My basic understanding is they are ...
7
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4answers
217 views

How to choose/compromise between data protection, and device recovery?

I'm sure many of you have probably seen (online or in-person) the DEFCON 18 presentation, demonstrating what can happen if you steal a hacker's computer. For those who haven't, the link is below. ...
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3answers
336 views

Risk of spyware on seized devices

This question (Prevention measures against laptop seizure at US borders) addresses a number of techniques for securing data while crossing borders. Perhaps the most useful advice was to simply not ...
7
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4answers
190 views

Must a system be insecure against physical access? If so, why?

Inspired by: Why don't OSes protect against untrusted USB keyboards? Related: What can a hacker do when he has physical access to a system? (I address the points of its main answers below.) There ...
7
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3answers
93 views

Is it possible to determine if the BIOS has been modified between two points in time?

Is it possible to determine if the BIOS of a computer has been modified between two points in time from that computer while it's running ? Effectively I'd like to be able to gather the equivalent of ...
6
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7answers
7k views

Physical computer security, how to disable USB ports when the computer is 'locked'?

Lets say my PC & server is in an environment where a theoretical attacker has physical access to the machine while I'm not there. Now the data is encrypted on the hard drive with TrueCrypt. ...
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3answers
202 views

Requiring Authentication to Exit

I've often wondered why facilities do not require authentication as a default on exit. Beyond the oblivious reasons: Fire safety policies would require a panic mechanism to override the access ...
6
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2answers
599 views

Is it possible to reliably derive a key from a biometric fingerprint?

Many products (e.g. notebooks, security doors and now smartphones) support some form of fingerprint authentication. That seems simple enough: A trusted system compares a stored representation of a ...
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3answers
3k views

What can a hacker do when he has physical access to a system?

I mean, I'm a tech guy here in my region (not a hacker...). When I sit in the front of another person's PC, I notice a little fear about what I can do in the system. It's obvious that I will not ...
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2answers
3k views

Should magnetic locks automatically release in the event of a fire alarm?

Basically what the title says, you'll find many buildings have these types of door locks which can usually be opened by using a RFID token. While this example photo is glass, lets assume that the ...
6
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3answers
252 views

Any way to prove that two devices are in the same physical space, for authentication?

I need to come up with digital proof that two physical devices are in the same (approximate) location whenever that transaction occurs. This could be: A digital ID and the authenticator A consumer ...
6
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3answers
324 views

Securing mail deliveries in a multi-tenant office building

I am concerned that that postal mail (and other deliveries not requiring a signature) may be at risk from theft or unauthorised access. My company is based in a multi-tenant office with an unattended ...
6
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1answer
125 views

Building access card that has an identification role

The main question is should a building access card have the corporate logo on it? In this organization, the employee ID card is separate from building access card. We currently do not have the logo ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Cutting and sniffing fiberoptic cables - time before detection?

Suppose you'd cut a fiberoptic cable with two razor sharp mirrors, reflecting the traffic out into your sniffing device and then back into the wire again. How fast would you need to get the traffic up ...
6
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2answers
146 views

How to handle decomissioned/donated/RMAed printers?

Printers, nowadays, almost always include some form of non-volatile storage that keep tracks of pretty much everything that went through the device. In the case of larger, "departmental" system that ...
6
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1answer
252 views

Motorola Human Authentication Pill/Vitamin Security?

This appears to be hot news today, Motorola announced a form of pill that a user can swallow which is activated and powered by stomach acids and transmits a signal back which can be used to ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Safely disable firewire/thunderbolt, patching up DMA exposure

I understand that Firewire 400/800 and Thunderbolt have DMA enabled, and a malicious hardware device can easily read and manipulate system memory at will. If I disable the software drivers for these ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Are keys or RFID tags more secure access control solutions?

Just musing to myself, what is the preferable access control mechanism in high security environments? Locks and Keys or RFID tags? Going under the assumption that the locks/keys are not knoow to be ...
5
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2answers
4k views

I am always Hibernating my System, is there any risk for my Encrypted drive with BitLocker?

I am Always Hibernating my Laptop, for faster booting, I encrypted sensitive drive by BitLocker, what if my Laptop stolen and attacker knew that it was in hybernate mode, can he decrypt my hard?
5
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4answers
200 views

How can I prevent someone from carrying out a file from a machine

Assume the following scenario: You have to set up a machine in a way that a user is unable to bring out a certain set of files (or a single file only) from that machine while he has to be able to ...
5
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1answer
250 views

What can be done to bridge the Air Gap, except autorun?

What can be done to bridge the Air Gap, except autorun? Is there any hardware butterflies that can attack physically isolated Unix/Linux machine in common usb drives, like VSC (Vendor Specific ...
5
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3answers
866 views

Live Linux which does not mount any hard drive in the computer

I am searching for a Linux System which runs from a CD and does not mount any hard drive of the computer. I want to prevent any possiblity to write something on the hard drive of the computer and on ...
5
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3answers
5k views

How easily could be truecrypt and EFS cracked in this scenario

I suspect some info was subtracted in the past months from my laptop. Therefore Im looking for methods to encrypt my data. I want to try using truecrypt for the sensitive files folder plus EFS for ...
5
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1answer
710 views

access control to data-center using rfid

I don't know if "here" is the right place to make this kind of question... so here it is.. Is rfid a good solution for controlling access to a data-center? Because rfid is "wireless", is it ...
5
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1answer
85 views

Is the content of my RAM kept if the OS is shut down but the PC is still running?

I just asked myself if the content of my RAM is kept when I shut down the OS but the PC is still running. For example when I do apply updates they sometimes require a reboot. Is the informaiton that ...
5
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2answers
311 views

How to destroy VOIP phone in a proper way?

Are there any standards which consider safe destroying of VOIP phones? I would like to prevent eventual data leakage after devices which have left the company.
5
votes
1answer
210 views

How safe are CD's for Air Gapped computers?

It is often suggested, for air-gapped PC's, to use CD/DVD's as a transfer medium between machines instead of USB sticks or portable hard-drives as it is difficult to write data to a CD/DVD without the ...
5
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3answers
2k views

How do I improve the physical security of a rack cabinet?

I've got an 8U 19-inch server rack cabinet with two locks - one on the front panel, one on the rear panel. The locks are small cam locks, but the cam part is rather thin and flimsy-looking. I could ...
5
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3answers
280 views

Disable USB keyboard pluggability on MacBook

I'm concerned about USB devices being physically attached to my MacBook laptop when I am about to unlock my computer or while my computer is unlocked. My threat model involves an attacker who is ...
5
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1answer
482 views

Security differences between Passive and Active RFID tags

Most people are aware there are two types of RFID tags, active tags (ones that contain a power source of some kind) and passive tags (ones that are powered by the RF field). I'd like to know if ...
5
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0answers
203 views

Ethical Hacking Certification (CEH v9) From A Web Developer's Perspective [closed]

I just finished a week of training for the CEH v9 certification. I have two questions: What are some strategies I can take for studying for the CEH v9 certification coming at the test as a web ...
4
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2answers
585 views

Preparing for a stolen physical server

What would be the best ways to protect sensitive data stored on a server/drive that gets stolen? The confidentiality of the data is what is important, not retrieving it. Obviously, physical means are ...
4
votes
5answers
463 views

Is encryption possible at the physical layer?

When we talk about encryption in relation to the OSI Model we usually hear about encryption at Application (Email - PGP), Transport (SSL), Network (IPSec) and even Data Link Layer (WPA). But I have ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a commercially available self destructing HDD (set in BIOS) exist?

Does a self destructing HDD (physically destruction) that will destroy after a certain time exist, or when I use some software to initiate its self-destruction? I guess it need to be set in BIOS or ...
4
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3answers
782 views

Physical laptop lock

I brought this really great laptop, but I cannot find something that I can lock the laptop physically to the desk or prevent a thief from grabbing this laptop. There is no "universal" hole there that ...
4
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2answers
116 views

Can single-purpose PCs be useful as a security measure in this situation?

In the context of a small scale operation, we are considering use of single special purpose PCs allocated to single security-sensitive tasks - for example, certain financial operations. The intended ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is there is a way to lock my USB port over the device physically?

Is there is a way to lock my USB port over the device physically ? For example I am connecting the USB mouse and keyboard on an public computer but I do not want anyone to remove them physically. I ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What risks are there with a Bluetooth based door lock, and are there any mitigations?

There are a few interesting Bluetooth door locks on the market that use version Bluetooth 4.0 however there seems to be a few issues with this E0 Encryption flaws Risks during pairing Attacks ...
4
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2answers
2k views

How does syskey in Windows increase the security in a domain?

I use syskey in windows XP and Windows 7. I've read Microsoft's article but I have questions. How does this solution increase security? What are differences between using Syskey in a client that ...