Physical Security


Today I want to talk with you about physical security and showcase some examples of security flaws. Although many times it does not feel like it, we still live in a physical world where damage and exploitation can be done with a physical presence. Our most sensitive data is stored in server rooms, inside buildings, and even “The Cloud” resides on a physical server somewhere. Thus, the importance of properly securing our physical assets does not fall short of protecting them digitally. Here are a few examples lacking physical security:

Example 1 - Worthless Keypads

These are 2 keypads I have come across in Tel Aviv. Both of these fail to fulfill their purpose as they reveal the access code in worn-out pads. These doors are practically unlocked.

Example 2 - Using a lock with a public key

While riding a train by Israel Railways , something caught my eye. Both the trash bin and the train management panels had the same lock! It is generous of me to even call it a lock. The “lock” was a screw that could be opened by a very common wrench My biggest problem with this implementation is that a crucial piece of the train’s infrastructure can be opened and sabotaged by anyone with a wrench. My second issue is that there is a single layer of authorization. You need the same level of authorization to clean a trash can and interact with the management panel. Maybe it was intentionally designed this way because a single team is responsible for both? I don’t know.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.