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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
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. ...
6
votes
4answers
178 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
175 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
2k 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
2answers
2k 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
votes
3answers
238 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
241 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
3answers
283 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
1answer
112 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
947 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
64 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
3k 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
votes
2answers
483 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
748 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
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
votes
1answer
680 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
223 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
2answers
281 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
242 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 ...
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
1answer
420 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
489 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
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
votes
2answers
3k 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?
4
votes
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
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
308 views

Do I need to secure a computer from physical attacks when attackers can already harm in many other ways?

Recently, I was working on a computer system for a model railroad club. This computer system is capable of monitoring and controlling the positions of all the (physical) trains which could be ...
4
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Block unauthorized user from getting access to intranet

What's the common way to block users from accessing intranet? Right now, whoever plugs in a cable can access any intranet server freely. I want to change this behavior. But given that we run not only ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Should I wipe a brand new Machine and HDD ?

So I am buying a brand new machine and a HDD separate, when I buy this new HDD should I wipe it before I install it ? What necessary steps should I take to make sure it's pretty much clean of any ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
883 views

Write-protection at hardware level for security

It seems to me that to maximise server security, one ought - in addition to the usual security measures implemented in software - to prevent the overwriting of certain parts of the server system, such ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Could Google Mail or Google Drive work as a path to a company's network?

I am a newbie to data security and would like to ask few questions related to Google Mail and Google Drive. What I want to know is how these two apps could be used to access a company's network AND ...
4
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
357 views

Help to account all the points of physical access to a rack server to steal software

Let's say I want to move my 1U Dell server to co-location site with a hostile company who will try to steal my code (this is almost 90% probability if I dont take steps)... The limitation for their ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Finding hidden cameras

Let's say Alice, Bob, and Mallory all live together in a house. Mallory decides to go on vacation, but before leaving, she decides to play a game with Bob and Alice. She makes two claims: She has ...
3
votes
2answers
799 views

What to do when GSM/Wifi is jammed and ethernet cables are cut?

So.. There are household alarm systems (to defend against burglars) which send SMS/e-mail alerts if an intruder has been detected or an alert is trigged. However, Mobile networks can be jammed, and ...
3
votes
4answers
712 views

If an ATM is stolen, how easy can the personal information of the users be recovered?

ATMs get occasionally stolen. How easy would be for the thiefs to retieve the PINs and other information of the users that have previously used the ATM? Is there a periodic wipe of all ...
3
votes
4answers
307 views

Is there a security device to register unauthorised physical access?

I understand that it is not possible to secure your software if a third party has physical access to the box (eg colo). So may be I can install some sort of hardware (like a seal) which only need to ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

is it possible to create a login “key” out of a USB drive?

I was recently thinking about keeping my computer secure from physical access, and i decided that the safest way to keep my data under lock and key, was to do just that: Create a lock and key out of a ...
3
votes
3answers
685 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
118 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
603 views

Alternate Workstation Lock mechanism

We're all aware of the need for physical security. Everytihng from locks on doors to locking your computer when you leave it. I'm having trouble with some people leaving their stations up as they ...
3
votes
2answers
854 views

How do you keep track of numerous keys in the workplace?

Where I'm currently working there is a policy where various assets (including laptops) have to be cable locked and in the tech support department we have so many transient assets it's becoming ...
3
votes
1answer
617 views

When a company asks to test physical security, what are some techniques one could use to gain entry?

When a company asks to test physical/infrastructure security, what are some techniques one could use to test employees? This could include good excuses to gain access to some hardware/software.
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
630 views

How hard is it to read flash memory off a chip?

What are the parameters in play, and what is a rough estimate of the hardness of the task of reading the contents of flash memory off a microcontroller? Of course, it is assumed that there is no ...
3
votes
2answers
291 views

Valid Characters For Magnetic stripe

We bought some Magnetic stripe cards and I'm writing a program that will get talked to by a mag card reader. What I need help with is that I can't, for the life of me, find out what characters are ...