These days, security is imperative in every area of our lives. Criminals are more sophisticated than ever, and it is almost as though they develop new techniques to find weak spots than security providers can find new methods to protect us. At the end of the day, security is like an onion – you simply have to layer a variety of methods on top of one another and hope for the best. Here’s a look into some of the biggest security fails of all time.
1. Researchers Open High Security Locks Using Plastic Keys
In 2008, a group of researchers at a DefCon hacker conference revealed how they used the plastic in credit cards to fashion simulated keys to open three different kinds of high-security locks – the kind of locks used in federal buildings and other facilities that require high levels of security.
The group stated that just about all pin-tumbler locks can be opened using this hack. High-security locks are more pricey than common locks and offer millions of possible key combinations, unlike the thousands available for standard locks. High-security lock manufacturers also authorize only specific locksmiths to duplicate keys using key codes and blanks.
2. Research Shows TSA Misses 95% of Explosives
Homeland Security performed a study, using dummy explosives and weapons to evaluate the efficiency of TSA agents. Disguised as passengers, all but three of the seventy Homeland Security officers managed to easily slip past TSA security, including the screening machines and pat downs.
One of the individuals, strapped to a fake bomb, managed to raise the alarm, but after the pat down, managed to proceed. Thankfully, after being confronted with the evidence, TSA had admitted guilt and committed to a security over-haul.
3 . Baghdad Security Guards Steal $282 Million
The details may be sketchy, but what we do know is that a group of security guards managed to steal more than a quarter of a billion dollars in US dollars (not Iraqi dinars) from a bank in which they worked. It is hard to imagine how they moved the actual, physical cash through security checkpoints unaided, as it must’ve been heavy. However, it does point to procedural issues and poor hiring practices. Also, based on speculation that two or three guards were involved, they would’ve made more from this haul than they could ever spend. The average annual income n Iraq is $4,000 a year, and an even cut of the loot would’ve been $94, 000, 000 each.
4. Criminal Steals Police Officer’s Gun
Unfortunately, we hear this more frequently than before. However, in the specific event referenced, a female NYPD officer carrying her service weapon in a purse, was assaulted on her way to the parking garage. Police policy does warn against carrying firearms anywhere but in appropriate holsters designed specifically to offer maximum protection against the loss thereof.
Biggest Security Fails Takeaway
We can learn from the actual events relayed above that nobody is immune from the threat of violence. However, we must guard against oversights; the biggest of which is trusting the wrong people.