The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity

CAT | Physical Security

One of my folks at Anonymizer pointed me towards this site WiebeTech HotPlug as a follow up to my blog post yesterday about recovering data from RAM after it has been removed from power. The HotPlug tool is sold to law enforcement to enable seizure of a computer without ever turning it off. The system has several methods that allow a running computer to be transitioned to a portable UPS system without causing the computer to shut down or react in any way. It can then be transported to a lab with the OS still running.As an additional clever trick, they have a USB dongle called the “Mouse Jiggler” which simulates a mouse making constant small motions, thus preventing a screen saver from ever activating. This allows the attacker to take all the time he needs without worrying about a password protected screen saver, or any other inactivity based security trigger, activating.All this enables the attacker to get the computer back to controlled laboratory conditions before trying to access the machine or pulling the power to capture the RAM image. Yet another argument for not walking away from a running computer with sensitive information. 

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Here is another article I picked up on the Qui Custodes blog of David Kaufman: Washington City Paper: Cover Story: Desk Job.This article describes a woman, without any special training, who was able to gain access to “secure” government buildings and steal money right from the desks and purses of the employees. Obviously this could have been documents and information if she had been involved with foreign intelligence. Her methods were simple. She was spotted frequently, but very few people were willing to confront her about her actions, choosing to avoid conflict. The moral here is: security is about everyone following up on everything that seems out of place or unusual. Better metal detectors, or bigger guns at the front door won’t do it. Security comes from the alert minds of everyone on the inside of the building being willing to ask direct questions.

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