ciphergoth: (Default)
Bruce Schneier once wrote an excellent essay entitled Inside the twisted mind of the security professional.
Uncle Milton Industries has been selling ant farms to children since 1956. Some years ago, I remember opening one up with a friend. There were no actual ants included in the box. Instead, there was a card that you filled in with your address, and the company would mail you some ants. My friend expressed surprise that you could get ants sent to you in the mail.

I replied: "What's really interesting is that these people will send a tube of live ants to anyone you tell them to."

Security requires a particular mindset. Security professionals -- at least the good ones -- see the world differently. They can't walk into a store without noticing how they might shoplift. They can't use a computer without wondering about the security vulnerabilities. They can't vote without trying to figure out how to vote twice. They just can't help it.
This was my reaction on reading this story on (propogated from [ profile] booklectic):
A Norwegian hospital is outfitting all newborn babies with Anti-Theft Alarms. The alarms consist of a small chip placed on the baby’s ankle bracelet and it is paired with a matching chip on the mother’s bracelet.

If the two chips are separated by more than a certain distance, an alarm goes off. If the baby’s bracelet is removed without authorization, the whole hospital goes into lockdown mode with the elevators stopping and the doors locking. The alarms are meant to prevent both kidnappings and baby mixups.
My question is, is there a crime you could commit by locking down the hospital at a time of the criminal's choosing? Prop open a few doors (or have associates hold them open), then snip the bracelet to lock down the rest, and use the ensuing chaos to steal stuff? Or indeed, could you use it to commit a murder?


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Paul Crowley

December 2018

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