Schneier on Security
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July 2, 2010
Hiding objects in everyday objects.
Posted on July 2, 2010 at 6:32 AM
• 27 Comments
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The furniture with hidden compartments is nice, but the rest isn't very practical.
I prefer the hidden panels to have rooms behind them. You can buy a hollowed out coin if you have your deepest perverted desires spelled out in detai on a mini SD card,
I just like secret places that you can enter into.
Ah, security through obscurity, we know how well that usually works.
Nothing really new, but the design of the bookshelf is kind of nice.
As with mehh.., I also like rooms. And yes, there are quite a lot of places a 32 GB microSD card can be hidden.
With Micro SD cards the size of your little fingernail hiding information has never been easier in terms of GB/cm^3.
However detecting even small objects with electrical properties has never been harder.
But hey it would not be fun if it was to easy.
I'm not going to post the long list of places that I've posted on this blog before but hey you've got a search engine.
That being said global conectivity is getting to the point where stoing information even secret information does not have to be local to you so have a think on real intangable hiding spaces in the clouds etc 8)
I got to wander around an abandoned 1950s era DoD contractor factory once. There were some "secret" rooms, including a blacked-out room that could be used to spy on the main entrance and parking lot. It appeared to double as a place to keep files on employees.
One of the more interesting aspects was a hallway that was designed in a sort of a spiral. It looked like a mundane janitorial area, but at the very end was an unique building-wide alarm system that wasn't affiliated with the rest of what I'd seen elsewhere.
These are quite nice. Although "security briefs" (you can google for it) still take the cake IMO as the most unique and probably the most effective for those who use the floor as their clean clothes + hamper + general filing system. These take advantage of normal human behavior for their security.
For defense against simple burglary a wall safe is plenty of protection. Pressed for time - the usual home burglary lasts only minutes - the goblins leave safes alone. They may return another day with a better prepared crew or sell the intel to someone able to exploit it. An alphabet agency "sneak and peek" is a challenge of a completely different color; perhaps it will help to remember that if you haven't done anything wrong you have nothing to hide.
Just in case this is the last topic before the weekly squidism...
Happy Independence Day to my American compatriots! To the decendants of our former overlords in the UK and those of their Hessian mercenaries, "No hard feelings I hope...course of human events...destiny, you know!" On the chance we share these pages with any amis Francais I suppose it's only fair to say "Thank you for making it all possible...yeah, yeah, yeah, couldn't have done without you...sorry about that 'Freedom Fries' thing." And finally, to our Canadian cousins, "A little less resistance and you'd have had this Monday off too. But hey, feel free to drop by this weekend for the fireworks..."
"We all have the need of hiding."
The problem I see in all these examples is that they are easily revealed with a bump. Someone with little effort could uncover every hiding place in minutes.
This is far less ideal than the usual examples of false cans with screw tops mixed into a cabinet of cans, false floorboards, or outlets in walls that are actually little safes.
I think perhaps the view that this was part art and part security was missed. Of course you could hide things better, but there is a joy in having your cup of coffee on your desk also hiding in plain sight.
I suspect many of you were like me: as a kid creating hiding places and secret stashes was more fun than was really warranted by what we were hiding.
The desk drawer and shelf were also just beautiful design and carpentry. Now I need to combine my security interest with the Yankee Woodshop to make one.
> And finally, to our Canadian cousins,
> "A little less resistance and you'd
> have had this Monday off too. But
> hey, feel free to drop by this weekend
> for the fireworks..."
A little more resistance and you'd have had this past Thursday off.
"And finally, to our Canadian cousins A little less resistance and you'd have had this Monday off too. But hey, feel free to drop by this weekend for the fireworks..."
If the Americans hadn't been so "upperty" yould still have all those public holidays and vacation time we get in Europe.
Hey pop over to the old countries some time and see the fireworks here, we even burn effigies of people over long forgoton Popish plots, and still defend your right to say how tactless it all is 8)
Hey we'll even treat you to a cup of tea or two just to remind you how bad that "devils brew" coffee realy tastes, and we won't even use harbour water to make it.
Having now taken my thumb away from my nose and stopped blowing raspberries for the fun of it,
May all those who have cause to celebrate the 4th have an enjoyable, restfull and most importantly peaceful day, even though you may be many many miles from friends and loved ones.
> " A little less resistance and you'd
> have had this Monday off too.
A little more resistance and you'd have had this past Thursday off."
I'm trying to imagine a world where the United States was Canada.
>I'm trying to imagine a world where the United States was Canada.
Just imagine slim, polite, disarmed Americans with healthcare !
> perhaps it will help to remember that if you haven't done anything wrong you have nothing to hide
Yes! Privacy is for criminals! Oh, wait...
I still quite like Cardinal Richelieu's quote: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."
And on the 8th day God said "let there be German Shephards"
@mcb at July 2, 2010 10:40 AM:
' Happy Independence Day to my American compatriots! To the decendants of our former overlords in the UK and those of their Hessian mercenaries, "No hard feelings I hope...course of human events...destiny, you know!" '
Looks like I've just lost a tenner - there is at least one American that knows of the existence of other countries ;-)
Seriously though, hope you have a good celebration.
@Björn: not to discredit your point, but there's some evidence that he may not have been the one to pen that phrase.
It actually makes sense. Give people rules, and they will find the loopholes. Make the rules artificially too strong, and the minds of those enforcing the laws can attempt to bring the law to where it was supposed to be all along, but with a human brain to limit loopholes.
'course no one likes to view it that way
Rule number one is always; Never conseal anything in something that may be removed. Ie. furniture etc should not be used. better to create a compartment in a wall and then cover it up completely using bricks, mortar or something so that it doesnt stick out the least. Problem though is getting to it, so its best suited for stuff that you want to keep but dont really need apart from a special occation.
@NobodySpecial: "Just imagine slim, polite, disarmed Americans with healthcare !"
Ow! My brain!
Thanks very much, now I have to type left-handed.
In the current issue of Popular Mechanics there is a story about the assumption by some law enforcement agencies that photography of/in public places is illegal. Bruce is mentioned in that article.
Unfortunately, I am in the office, and my magazine is at home, so I can't cite the article name or page number...
Hiding USB storage in a telephone wall socket and accessing it through a telephone cord: http://bit.ly/9NTKx2
I have thought about getting a wall safe (because most of the stuff I need to keep safe is not electronic media/ banknotes)...
But one thing always stops me, the fact that strangers who come to install the wall safe would know that there is a wall safe, i.e. greater probability of valuable stuff at home. When (not if) this information reaches the wrong set of ears, the probability of a break-in goes up..
Again, not too worried about a break-in when no one is at home because I don't have anything that is irreplacable or invaluable, but am worried about a break-in when the family IS at home and the much higher risk this poses to life.
So in balance, am happy to lock stuff away in a steel cupboard that can be broken into easily as
a. I will keep less valuable stuff at home(knowing that it can be easily broken into) and keep the more valuable stuff in the bank
b. Probability of a break-in stays average, instead of going up following installation of a wall safe.
Sounds silly? Probably is....
"I have thought about getting a wall safe... But one thing always stops me, the fact that strangers who come to install the wall safe would know that there is a wall safe..."
A reasonable concern. I feel the same way about gun safes. The really large ones require a haulage and drayage firm to deliver and set. Such firms are not usually known for their careful hiring practices. There is a modular gun safe made by Zanotti http://zanottiarmor.com/ that can be picked up in the form of six flat boxes at the common carrier's dock and installed by a couple fellas with a handtruck and a hammer.
WRT to installing a small wall safe it can be a DIY job if you are comfortable with removing a patch of sheetrock and turning a few screws. Again, such a safe will not be proof against a prepared professional, but it will usually stop the average burglar who is intent on filling a pillowcase in 60 seconds. If you're worried about a return visit after such a break-in you can move your valuables to a safe deposit box for a while.
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