A card reader was stolen from the boom gates of the building last night. There is another card reader at the roller doors of the garage and then again at every elevator.

I was wondering why would someone specifically go for the boom gate reader and what could they potentially do with it?

I was initially thinking 100% this had to be some silly thing done just to cause us the inconvenience of having to walk down and not park our cars securely in the underground parking, but it doesn't look to be the case.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Lie Ryan, Steffen Ullrich, forest, Xiong Chiamiov, Steve Mar 9 '18 at 23:51

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    Was the reader that was stolen the easiest for a random person to get to? If so, don't rule out vandalism. Not every theft has a specific reason. – Matthew Mar 7 '18 at 9:58
  • What they could do with it depends entirely on the reader. We would have to speculate a lot on the possibilities, including learning how to DoS one, grabbing stored info, or reverse engineering the communication to the central server. – schroeder Mar 7 '18 at 10:22
  • It should be encrypted, but whether it is depends on the specific implementation. Ask your vendor? – Wouter Verhelst Mar 7 '18 at 11:07
  • @ShivaLee: it should be encrypted, but if you have unrestricted physical access to the reader, there may be ways to attach a hardware debugger (e.g. a JTAG port) to allow one to intercept the data before the system encrypts them. Though I think it's unlikely that their intent is to reverse engineer the protocol, as it would be easier and safer to take note of the model number/brand and buy the same system off ebay or off the manufacturer. – Lie Ryan Mar 7 '18 at 11:18
  • maybe they had some sort of "skimmer" that got stuck on, forcing the removal of the whole thing. – dandavis Mar 7 '18 at 21:11