The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

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Cracking safes with thermal imaging

Posted by Xavier Ashe on November 24, 2005

In short, virtually all keypad entry systems – as used in various applications,
including building access control, alarm system control, electronic lock safes,
ATM input, etc – are
susceptible to a trivial low-profile passphrase snooping scheme. This attack enables
the attacker to quickly and unobtrusively recover previously entered passphrases with
a high degree of success. This is in contrast to previously documented methods of
keypad snooping; these methods were in general either highly intrusive – required
close presence or installation of specialized hardware – or difficult to carry
out and not very reliable (e.g., examining deposited fingerprints – works in
low-use situations only, and does not reveal the ordering of digits).

So if you have a $5000-$10,000 toy, you can pull this off. 
I guess that's chump change for serious thieves.  Read the full
article.

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