0916: Unpickable

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Blaisorblade
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Blaisorblade » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:04 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:I think you all are missing the fact that both the safe and the shoebox are equally effective means of protection from geeks: Neither one is connected to the internet.

I like how this comic is the first actually funny one I see, and how it opened up a long thread of geek-funny stuff to literally (->figuratively, http://xkcd.com/725/) LOL about. Then I turned to #0915, which was funny, too! Thanks XKCD.

Invertin
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Invertin » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:03 pm UTC

Unfortunately this wouldn't work on me. My RPG instincts would kick in and make me check all unlocked containers for loot first.

reffu
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby reffu » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

Invertin wrote:Unfortunately this wouldn't work on me. My RPG instincts would kick in and make me check all unlocked containers for loot first.

Now are those Role Playing Game instincts or Rocket Propelled Grenade instincts. Would you check all the unlocked containers first or blow the safe up with a rocket launcher?
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kirslaw
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby kirslaw » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

That one won't work because any half decent lockpicker can tell the pin is fused.

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Diadem
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Diadem » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Actually, the second thing I would do is check the shoebox for the password. Remember the first two rules of lock-picking:

1. Ensure the door is actually locked
2. Check under the doormat for the spare key

Ensure? For thieves that like a challenge?

A: "Let's break in here!"
B: "Wait, the door is unlocked"
A: "Oh, no problem, i just found the spare key under the doormat"
B: "Oh, good, for a second I was worried there"
* Quickly locks the door and throws the key away"
B: "Finally. Now let's pick this lock baby!"
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Michael.K
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Michael.K » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

Exact same plot as the "Iron Lady" episode of The Invisibles.

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addams
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby addams » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

deiden26 wrote:I am instantly reminded of comic 538*

*http://xkcd.com/538/


That is funny. The no one cares about his secrets.
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5th Earth
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby 5th Earth » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:59 pm UTC

Better yet, instead of a 5x5x5x Rubik's cube, load it with a scrambled Teraminx. With two corners swapped.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Shoeboxed
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Shoeboxed » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:07 pm UTC

This comic has been sent to me a couple dozen times as I am a competitive lockpicker that goes by the handle "Shoebox" (sadly Shoebox was already taken on here, so had to go with shoeboxed). I'm a frequent reader of XKCD but this one definitely holds a special place in my heart. Brilliant :)

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addams
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby addams » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:59 pm UTC

Shoeboxed wrote:This comic has been sent to me a couple dozen times as I am a competitive lockpicker that goes by the handle "Shoebox" (sadly Shoebox was already taken on here, so had to go with shoeboxed). I'm a frequent reader of XKCD but this one definitely holds a special place in my heart. Brilliant :)


Competitive Lockpicker?!

http://www.boston.com/business/articles ... opularity/

http://www.schuylertowne.com/about

This site is so educational. Who knew? You did.

It takes a fine mind to do such a thing. Both.
To make a fine lock takes a fine mind. To defeat a fine lock takes a fine mind.
Across the chasm that is cyber space; Greetings to you Shoeboxed
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

marley
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby marley » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:17 am UTC

I've been reading lots of Orson Scott Card lately...and the first thing that came to mind what I read this was:

Battle School grad!

Shoeboxed
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Shoeboxed » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:30 am UTC

addams wrote:This site is so educational. Who knew? You did.

It takes a fine mind to do such a thing. Both.
To make a fine lock takes a fine mind. To defeat a fine lock takes a fine mind.
Across the chasm that is cyber space; Greetings to you Shoeboxed


Greetings :) Very true and often overlooked what you say about making a fine lock. I was about to be super verbose, but the short version is - you pick better if you know how to make a lock & you make better locks if you know how to pick.

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addams
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby addams » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:37 am UTC

Shoeboxed wrote:
addams wrote:This site is so educational. Who knew? You did.

It takes a fine mind to do such a thing. Both.
To make a fine lock takes a fine mind. To defeat a fine lock takes a fine mind.
Across the chasm that is cyber space; Greetings to you Shoeboxed


Greetings :) Very true and often overlooked what you say about making a fine lock. I was about to be super verbose, but the short version is - you pick better if you know how to make a lock & you make better locks if you know how to pick.

So, nice. Thank you.
Can you make a lock? I have no clue.

I have installed locks. I put fancy code locks on my house and business. A strong magnet opens them. So, funny. A chemist helped me to install chains; Like the hotel room ones. That kept the door closed.
If, someone wants in the house, then, they will come in. I was told that locks are for honest people. I have broken into my own house. I know how easy it is.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:02 am UTC

dotancohen wrote:Where's your place?
I have a visible nuke-proof bunker on Pluto, with highly trained/paid mercenaries as the first of 5 layers of security systems.

But my real house is somewhere on Earth.
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Shoeboxed
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Shoeboxed » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:19 am UTC

addams wrote:
Can you make a lock? I have no clue.

I have installed locks. I put fancy code locks on my house and business. A strong magnet opens them. So, funny. A chemist helped me to install chains; Like the hotel room ones. That kept the door closed.
If, someone wants in the house, then, they will come in. I was told that locks are for honest people. I have broken into my own house. I know how easy it is.


Yes, I can make locks and often doodle passable ideas for new locks. In residential security - yes - locks are more symbolic than secure. They symbolize the three things that have drawn the dividing line between public and private property from time immemorial: The Threat of Violence, Taboo and Law. However, WRT institutional security, locks are about a lot more than "keeping honest people honest." There are some absolutely brilliant locks out there. Check out the Abloy Protec or Fichet 3D for example. Beautiful locks.

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby DarkMist » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:11 am UTC

If we're talking literally, would most homebreakers even bother with a safe? I'm guessing the majority of them are not expert lock pickers, if I were in their position I would just check common hiding places and steal anything that looked pretty valuable (jewellery, electronics etc).

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby DragonHawk » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:39 am UTC

Shoeboxed wrote:There are some absolutely brilliant locks out there. Check out the Abloy Protec or Fichet 3D for example. Beautiful locks.

I don't know much about actual locks, so I Googled those. I was amused that the first hit for "Abloy Protec" was "How to open Abloy Protec cylinder lock". But turns out the guy is just drilling the lock. Rather less impressive than manipulating it.

Shoeboxed, any opinions on the Kaba Mas X-09? Those are the uber-locks the DoD is using these days.
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Jeff_UK
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Jeff_UK » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:50 am UTC

Almost certainly parallel evolution, but this exact trick was used in a british TV drama called 'The invisibles', where someone intentionally builds up a legend around an uncrackable safe; 'the iron lady' and builds and ornate gothic locking safe, which is completely empty; with the money being hidden in plain-sight in a standard wall-safe in the same room. The main character is a lock-picking/safe cracking geek, and gets so obsessed with the shiny looking safe he never even tries to crack the real one.
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...hmm....I wonder how much extra energy is required to generate that request...We need a cost/benefit analysis, STAT!

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Jeff_UK » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:53 am UTC

addams wrote: I was told that locks are for honest people.


I've heard "Locks only keep people out of places they wouldn't go anyway"
"Please only print this post if you really need to"
...hmm....I wonder how much extra energy is required to generate that request...We need a cost/benefit analysis, STAT!

ChemistByDayProgrammerByNight
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby ChemistByDayProgrammerByNight » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:56 pm UTC

I suppose it's just me, had i been trying to get valuables since i have NO experience with cracking safes i would probably check the shoe box, because I always throw them away and since it's not tossed out it has to contain something maybe a few bucks or info (tax documents).

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hintss
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby hintss » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:58 am UTC

could the pin being fused mean that the top and bottom half are fused together?

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addams
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby addams » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:45 pm UTC

Does any one think about what might be in the shoe box?

The really valuable stuff? Stuff that might not seem of value at first blush.

Stuff that everybody has and can't be sold. A photo of your first SO. Something made by your mother. Credit cards and deeds to property are nice, but, what about the other stuff that means nothing to anyone else.
A cup that you won in an obscure competition.
Things that can not be understood without you.
What is in your shoe box?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Shoeboxed
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Shoeboxed » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

DragonHawk wrote:Shoeboxed, any opinions on the Kaba Mas X-09? Those are the uber-locks the DoD is using these days.


Haha - yeah, those that are students of destructive entry (vs. non-destructive entry, or "NDE") have actually come up with some pretty badass lock-specific drill rigs.

On the Kaba Mas? I've been in love with that lock since back when it was the Mas Hamilton X-07 and I've heard that there may be/is an X-10 out now? Anyway, the lock is fantastic. It's an example of a perfect or near-perfect seal. The point of this lock is that you can't get into it without someone knowing you have. As far as destructive entry is concerned you could probably kick the thing hard enough and get it off the safe (it's mostly plastic parts) but surreptitious entry? Near impossible. A few of my favorite features:

1: Irregular # appearance. One of the simplest attacks on safes is to shoulder surf them. Even when people are aware enough to protect what they are looking at, you can typically just make a notch at, say, 4 o'clock on the dial and watch what numbers hit your new index point as someone dials in the correct combination. With the X-09 the numbers appear at odd intervals. The distance you dial to get from 1 to 2 is different than the distance dialed from 2 to 3. Also, the spacing scrambles every time you reverse direction on the dial.

2: Lockout mechanism. The X-09 has a very aggressive lockout mechanism. Basically - even if you could automate the dialing process after a few incorrect entries you get locked out for ... some amount of time. I can't remember the specifics, bah! But anyway - real pita

3: Random black light luminescent dye sprayed inside. So - because these locks are so aggressive on their lockout cycle and because they are kind of weird to use for the average user, if you show up to work one day and can't get into your X-09, the average user will assume the damn lock is broken and will call in a technician to fix or replace it. As an attacker, you can take advantage of this by simply bashing your way through the X-09 you are attacking, and installing a new one on your way out. However! The first thing the technician will do is inspect the interior of the lock, which had a random pattern of UV dye sprayed inside of it upon its manufacture. If what he sees doesn't match up to his photographic documentation, he knows the lock isn't broken, it's been replaced.

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Shoeboxed » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

hintss wrote:could the pin being fused mean that the top and bottom half are fused together?


Yup. Similarly if you want to mess with someone picking a normal lock, just peel the cylinder cap back off of the bible of the lock & replace one of the pin stacks with a cylinder of metal that matches the diameter of the pins, but is long enough to always block the shear line.

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby DragonHawk » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:47 am UTC

Shoeboxed wrote:On the Kaba Mas? I've been in love with that lock since back when it was the Mas Hamilton X-07 and I've heard that there may be/is an X-10 out now? Anyway, the lock is fantastic. It's an example of a perfect or near-perfect seal.


What we're getting at $WORK is still the X09. There may be an X10 in development (or perhaps kept out of the public eye and in-use at extremely high security installations) but I wouldn't know anything about that.

As far as destructive entry is concerned you could probably kick the thing hard enough and get it off the safe (it's mostly plastic parts) ...

Ah, but the outside dial does not contain the actual locking mechanism. The dial is basically just a display and an input. If you rip it off, you'll just expose a small hole and a shaft. The lock bolt is inside a metal case, attached to the inside of the door. So you still need to force through the door. (I only know this because I've seen them being installed.) Granted, most GSA-approved safes aren't very thick, so drilling the case off the door probably won't take *too* long. Like you say, it's all about evidence of entry.

Thanks for all that info. That's fascinating! I had noticed that the rate at which numbers appear seemed really inconsistent, and was wondering why such an otherwise sophisticated device had such a crappy dial sensor. It never occurred to me that it was a security feature, but now that you explain it it makes perfect sense!

I can attest to the anti-manipulation features as well. I tend to turn lock dials at a very regular rate. The X09 thinks I'm an auto-dialer and usually locks me out by the second number in the combination. I have to consciously add some irregularity to my dialing to open the things!

Neat stuff.
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Shoeboxed
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Shoeboxed » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:55 pm UTC

DragonHawk wrote:I can attest to the anti-manipulation features as well. I tend to turn lock dials at a very regular rate. The X09 thinks I'm an auto-dialer and usually locks me out by the second number in the combination. I have to consciously add some irregularity to my dialing to open the things!

Neat stuff.


Ah yes! It definitely wants irregularity - it also senses if you have turned the dial further in one go than a wrist "should" be able to turn & will lock you out in that instance too.

Really slick lock

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kryton
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby kryton » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:08 pm UTC

a) in cyber security, the safe would be a 'honey pot', an attractive lure to occupy an intruder away from the valuables.
b) in 99.99% of home intrusion cases of theft, the thief is looking for easy quick stuff to pawn/fence for cash, and will not bother the safe, but ransack the drawers and storage boxes looking for things he can fence easily, and take you microwave and answering maching and GPS out the door with him. if someone breaks into your house to pick your safe, you have been targeted and for a reason, and you are likely in deep kimshee anyway.
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ckbryant
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby ckbryant » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:30 pm UTC

Actually a plot point in a "Macguyver" episode, back in the dawn of time.

It was 1987. Do we need a "spoiler alert?"

But there was this competition where physics students (as I recall) built elaborate, Goldbergian "barricades" to their dorm rooms, and had to work out how to defeat the barricades of the other students. Not with kinetic energy alone! A competition-legal barricade had to present a puzzle that could be solved. One of the fiendishly clever ones involved a garage door opener and a meticulously-detailed scale model of the dorm room. Fun to watch, even if only for the hairstyles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWJNjkpi3s0&t=10m

Beatrix
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Beatrix » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

Haha this comic is sooo me. I have a safe, but my private stuff is in a shoebox.

Tripleat
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Tripleat » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:05 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:
Brickmack wrote:Wouldn't a fused pin make it un-openable by key?

Sure, but that doesn't matter because it's just a decoy. Although I'm unclear on the exact logistics of getting the Rubik's Cube in there.

dude haven't you ever seen "dude where's my car?" I mean what if it's like that..... :mrgreen:

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dr pepper
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dr pepper » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:56 pm UTC

tjunction wrote:
15 minutes on average. This system is vulnerable to dumb luck.


So is guessing the combination on a combination lock.

With enough shoeboxes it becomes statistically very unlikely, though. Once it gets to the point that the burglar thinks "this is crazy, I'm never going to guess the right one" and gives up the idea of even trying, you're OK.

Of course you can also have decoy shoeboxes, with a small amount of currency and maybe an old passport and cancelled credit card or something. Once they find what they think they're looking for, they'll probably give up the search.


The Infinite Monkeys Gang always overcomes these problems.


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