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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31
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7answers
7k views

Methods for protecting computer systems from physical attacks

I am interested in cost effective and creative ideas for detecting physical attacks against computer systems. This includes, but is not limited to Tamper Evident security measures. Consider the ...
12
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3answers
4k views

How can I prevent someone from accessing a Windows XP system via boot disk?

Apparently a computer system protected by a a login password, e.g. Windows XP, can be easily hacked by someone with physical access to it using methods like this one: ...
26
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7answers
2k views

Protecting critical state infrastructure from the aftermath of a nuclear blast

Countries rely on computer infrastructure for a huge percentage of communications and military management, as well as utilities like electricity. Unfortunately, nuclear attacks release massive ...
48
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8answers
28k views

Are powerline ethernet adapters inherently secure?

I have 2 Zyxel PLA407 powerline adapters. Router is downstairs connected to one adapter, other adapter is upstairs about 30 feet away connected to a desktop. I have a house, not an apartment or ...
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 ...
23
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7answers
1k views

Securing the security guy's home office: what should we do?

I read an article in the latest InfoSecurity magazine (an infosec trade rag by Elsevier) saying that us security professionals aren't necessarily taking the correct steps to protect our own home ...
22
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6answers
2k views

How to secure a WiFi network?

What do I have to do to secure a WiFi network? Is there any best practices? I have been recommended to use WPA2 encryption on the router, is that enough? What can I do to improve the security even ...
7
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2answers
657 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 ...
11
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3answers
578 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 ...
90
votes
13answers
10k views

Why do we lock our computers?

It's common knowledge that if somebody has physical access to your machine they can do whatever they want with it1. So why do we always lock our computers? If somebody has physical access to my ...
23
votes
2answers
54k views

Disabling/Destroying CCTV/IP Cameras with Lasers?

@D3C4FF has asked a great question and I would like to follow up on that. Basically he had asked whether "[...] an attacker can identify if a CCTV camera is on/operational without direct physical ...
23
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12answers
6k views

Is it possible to prevent unauthorized copying or recording of data by photographing screens?

I am thinking on a way which would prevent unauthorized copying or recording of data by photographing screens. I also think, if the content of a screen is understable for an eye of a living human, it ...
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.
28
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2answers
2k views

Can a connected USB device read all data from the USB bus?

Is it possible for a (malicious) (hardware) USB device to access all the data that is transferred through the USB bus and then read/store this information, essentially sniffing all transferred data? ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What method of secure erase is sufficient for MacBook Pro SSD Drives? [duplicate]

I would like to securely erase the hard drive of a SSD in a MacBook Pro. The Disk Utility does not give me the option to wipe this drive even when I boot into the System Partition. (it is greyed ...
75
votes
5answers
6k views

Somebody bumped into me, next day my storage unit was burglarized

While I was walking in the street, somebody carrying a laptop bag bumped into me, and the next day I found out that my storage unit was burglarized and some important items were stolen. My storage ...
29
votes
2answers
29k views

Is there any way to tell if CCTV is on or not?

Is there any way that an attacker can identify if a CCTV camera is on/operational without direct physical access to the cable/camera? If it is on, is there any way an attacker can tell if its being ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

How can vending machines be hacked? And how can I prevent it?

I am developing a vending machine and want to make it secure. In a comment to my previous question, @Polynomial said "Vending machines (and similar devices) can often be pwned via buffer overflows on ...
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. ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

How does a clean desk policy provide security benefits?

I'm starting to study for Security+ using Darril Gibson's book. I took the pre-exam and one of the questions is “What is the most important security benefit of a clean desk policy?” The choices are: ...
11
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
727 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 ...
16
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4answers
2k views

How do you prevent physical backups from being stolen?

I'm sure, by now, we're all aware of the need to encrypt backup disks, but what can be done on the physical security side of things to prevent backups from being stolen or damaged? Particularly: ...
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

How do Travel Sentry locks work? (supposedly openable only by security agencies)

Apparently Travel Sentry locks can only be opened: by their owner, by the TSA, CATSA and "other security agencies". How do they work technically? Is there some electronics embedded with ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
958 views

Detecting and filtering data over AC power lines?

Given that it's possible for the average consumer to send covert signals over normal AC lines how can an IT department identify and filter out this communication? I'm not sure how difficult this is ...
3
votes
4answers
382 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 ...
-9
votes
1answer
244 views

Viable way to ruin a milk corporation? [closed]

Hack into their system and change the "Sell by" date so that it is immediately bad. How long do you think until they notice, if you pull it off?
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?
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

Can linux (be made to) detect foreign connections to the ram bus?

I've been made aware on many answers and some comments that an attacker can read memory while a system is still running by attaching some sort of connection directly to the ram bus. Can linux ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Protecting data on an embedded device

I am to release a system-on-chip device that, during its lifetime, will come to store sensitive data. I want to make that data hard to extract or duplicate. Encrypting is good for dealing with MiTM, ...
1
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3answers
477 views

Environmentally friendly ways to destroy hard drives

The best method to prevent others from reading the data on hard drives is to destroy the drives physically: a sledgehammer is a cheap and effective tool to prevent the data from being read again. ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

attacks via physical access to USB (dma…?)

I wonder if USB can be exploited by someone with physical access to a reasonably secured computer. For example a kiosk, or laptop attached to a desk. Obviously, boot sequence should be secure (disk ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Is there a cryptographic function that generates a reconizable visual pattern?

I have to build a system that will ultimately print a pass allowing access to a building. The validation of this ticket will be done manually (it can also be automatic but that's not likely at this ...
-2
votes
5answers
892 views

Why do most cars use physical keys and no PIN?

Why do car makers rely on physical start keys, which can be stolen by home burglars and then used to start the vehicle? Why don't they use more secure methods such as a personal PIN, or a pin code to ...