The use of physical measures (such as locks and tamper-proofing) or policies (such as Clean Desk) in order to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.

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743 views

How to apply IT Security knowledge to Home Security?

Today my car got stolen from my house, and it is possible the person who did it has access to my home. I try to take secure measures online to maintain security, yet it seems I never paid attention to ...
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5answers
472 views

Resources for physical security questions

What are good resources for the physical security questions that IT organizations face? Like best practices for locks and seals on servers and kiosks, personnel access mechanisms and policies, ...
11
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3answers
590 views

Sourcing hardware that is least likely to contain backdoors

I understand that CPU silicon (for example) is scrutinized for backdoors but there are other aspects of a computer system that may "leak data" to the outside world unbeknownst to the owner regardless ...
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2answers
5k views

“Friend” stole SD card. Tracing an SD card?

First off, let me say that I currently live in Mexico, a land filled with petty theft. I had a group of friends over last night, and they were looking at the photos on my camera. Today, I looked at my ...
10
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4answers
39k views

Can an employer access Whatsapp messages if you are using their servers?

Does anyone know if an employer can access whatsapp messages if you are using their servers? Whatsapp apparently say the messages are encrypted, but I'm not sure about this.
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5answers
392 views

Mitigating forensic memory acquisition when an attacker has physical access to a workstation

My question regards whether or not the mitigations I use are appropriate for my threat model. Please don't jump to conclusions and say "you need to use locks" or "you can't leave your computer ...
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3answers
7k views

Using RFID-only on door lock to house?

I'm thinking of equipping the door to my house with an RFID-reader and a custom arduino-like board to do the authentication. My question is what is the recommended security level for a normal house (...
9
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4answers
410 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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1k views

Storing Credit Cards

Okay, so storing digitized credit card information/records is a well documented process when it comes to best practices. I recently got asked how a company can store, retrieve and process physical ...
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781 views

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 ...
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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
253 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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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. ...
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4answers
569 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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2answers
730 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 ...
8
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3answers
495 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 ...
8
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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
396 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 side-...
7
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4answers
219 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. It'...
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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 ...
7
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4answers
320 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
133 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
8k 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. ...
6
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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 ...
6
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6answers
568 views

Crash a computer using waves or similar techniques?

I am trying to prevent a potential attack, by first learning how to perform it. Pretend there is a cheap £20 - £50 computer, which an attacker with physical access to wishes to crash. This computer ...
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3answers
208 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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3answers
4k 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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1answer
4k views

What camera resolution is required to identify human faces?

I've been asked to recommend an IP-based security camera in attempt to prevent, or at least record, repeated acts of vandalism occurring at the front of a property. Budget is a concern (The damage ...
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3answers
345 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 ...
6
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3answers
261 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
364 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
votes
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 ...
6
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1answer
178 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 ...
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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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1answer
152 views

What is collusion and how does seperation of duties prevent it, or fail to prevent it?

I'm studying for CISSP and came across the term "collusion". I understand it means when people work together to steal something, but don't quite get it. For example, if two gunmen rob a bank would ...
6
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2answers
161 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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3answers
7k views

How many unique house keys can possibly exist?

A Yahoo! answers user suggested that there are 5^5 possible unique configurations for a physical key, but the answer wasn't sourced. I wondered if anyone had similar numbers for how many possible key ...
6
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2answers
340 views

Can motion sensors be disabled by lasers without triggering the alarm?

I remember when I was a kid and was waiting for someone in a long hall, there was a motion sensor and security panel by the door. To kill time, I would go away from the door, then try to move so ...
6
votes
1answer
253 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
votes
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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3answers
224 views

Do you have to ban cellphones and paper to be PCI compliant?

Today I heard of a call centre that you are not allowed to bring cellphones into or take paper out of. This is allegedly to be PCI complaint. Is this true? What is the reasoning? This seems like ...
5
votes
5answers
871 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
5k 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
votes
1answer
269 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
votes
3answers
988 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
6k 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 the ...
5
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1answer
715 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 hackable?...
5
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1answer
109 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
376 views

What value security wise, if any, does a digital handwritten signature have?

Here's an example of what I mean: (It's basically the same thing as a traditional signature.) Given I've never seen someone fail this control, it's unclear to me what real security such a system ...