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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

10
votes
2answers
4k 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
votes
4answers
38k 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.
9
votes
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
votes
4answers
408 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
777 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 ...
9
votes
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
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
8
votes
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
votes
4answers
549 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
votes
3answers
484 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
368 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
661 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
218 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. ...
7
votes
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
votes
4answers
224 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
votes
3answers
107 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
3answers
203 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
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
339 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
votes
3answers
257 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
votes
3answers
344 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
1answer
142 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
156 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
votes
2answers
174 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
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
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
580 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
257 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
937 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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
712 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
votes
1answer
92 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
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
357 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
321 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
214 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
501 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
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
281 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
votes
2answers
612 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 ...