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melindamusil
09-13-2013, 10:23 PM
Okay, I know that with infinite resources, it's always possible to get past a security system (especially in fiction :) ). You know - hire a tech genius to reprogram the system, bribe the security company, that kind of thing.

But what are some "dumb" ways to get past a security system, for characters who don't have those resources? Cutting the power supply seems very 1990s.

What other ways can I use to get around a security system? (In this case, it's at a medium-sized museum, but I imagine this could be applicable to all sorts of security systems.)

cornflake
09-13-2013, 10:28 PM
Okay, I know that with infinite resources, it's always possible to get past a security system (especially in fiction :) ). You know - hire a tech genius to reprogram the system, bribe the security company, that kind of thing.

But what are some "dumb" ways to get past a security system, for characters who don't have those resources? Cutting the power supply seems very 1990s.

What other ways can I use to get around a security system? (In this case, it's at a medium-sized museum, but I imagine this could be applicable to all sorts of security systems.)

What kind of security system is it?

Is it an alarm? Motion detectors? Guards? Does it have a silent trigger with a police call? Does it trigger a worker call? Where is the alarm? Doors? Windows? Just opening them or the panes? The floors? Around art? I have questions. :D

melindamusil
09-13-2013, 10:48 PM
What kind of security system is it?

Is it an alarm? Motion detectors? Guards? Does it have a silent trigger with a police call? Does it trigger a worker call? Where is the alarm? Doors? Windows? Just opening them or the panes? The floors? Around art? I have questions. :D

Cornflake - I'm undecided on what kind of security system.
FYI - this could be either an art museum or a history museum. I'm undecided at this point.

I have toyed with using the Gardner museum theft-style of break-in. (Two guys pretended to be police officers and knocked on a door saying they'd received a call. Once they were inside, they tied up the guards and stole a bunch of artwork.) I just wonder if that's overdone.

Haven't decided how tightly I want this museum secured. I've read that security is a problem for museums - short of putting all the artwork under bulletproof glass (a la the Mona Lisa), it's virtually impossible to protect the paintings from every possible form of damage.

MatthewHJonesAuthor
09-13-2013, 11:10 PM
Okay, I know that with infinite resources, it's always possible to get past a security system (especially in fiction :) ). You know - hire a tech genius to reprogram the system, bribe the security company, that kind of thing.

But what are some "dumb" ways to get past a security system, for characters who don't have those resources? Cutting the power supply seems very 1990s.

What other ways can I use to get around a security system? (In this case, it's at a medium-sized museum, but I imagine this could be applicable to all sorts of security systems.)


I agree with you that cutting the power wouldn't work. Nowadays, I imagine that the Alarm company pings the security system at least once an hour. If the ping doesn't return, the cops would be contacted.

With a museum, there's a point of time where the MC or character in question would be allowed to be on the property. If he paid general admission and just hid in a bathroom or something until the museum shut down, I'd imagine that he would be able to move freely through any given section.

If I understand security systems, they tend to secure doors and windows, so they probably won't go off if he doesn't go through them.

The only problem is that he wouldn't be able to leave without tripping the alarm, or find a place to hid until the museum opens to the public again.

melindamusil
09-13-2013, 11:15 PM
From the wikipedia page:


...while most high-profile museums have extremely tight security, many places with multimillion art collections works have disproportionately poor security measures.[2] That makes them susceptible to thefts that are slightly more complicated than a typical smash-and-grab, but offer a huge potential payoff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_theft

This is what I'm playing off of, but for plot reasons, I need the break-in and theft to occur at night, and preferably not rushed (grab and run before the police can get us). Thus... I need to disable the security alarm.

cornflake
09-13-2013, 11:19 PM
Cornflake - I'm undecided on what kind of security system.
FYI - this could be either an art museum or a history museum. I'm undecided at this point.

I have toyed with using the Gardner museum theft-style of break-in. (Two guys pretended to be police officers and knocked on a door saying they'd received a call. Once they were inside, they tied up the guards and stole a bunch of artwork.) I just wonder if that's overdone.

Haven't decided how tightly I want this museum secured. I've read that security is a problem for museums - short of putting all the artwork under bulletproof glass (a la the Mona Lisa), it's virtually impossible to protect the paintings from every possible form of damage.

It is and also depends on the size and type of museum and what you're protecting, obvs. Some places might be easier to have patrolling guards if it's a big place or big area with like, a giant hunk of an Egyptian temple (because obvs. how is someone going to abscond with that? Not that someone couldn't try but you'd think it'd be easier to notice in time) vs. Faberge stuff or the Mona Lisa or sculptures or yeah.

The fake cop thing I think depends on the place as well - as well as the way it's situated. If like, the desk is facing the street, a guard would see a cruiser or not, you know?

robjvargas
09-13-2013, 11:28 PM
It's kind of an unwritten rule in I.T security that the weakest component in security sits between the keyboard and the back of the desk chair.

People. A surprisingly large number of institutions rely on "security through obscurity," the idea that no one outside knows what the security is really, and so will be too scared to carry out the criminal act. Or that they'll attack what they know rather than what they don't know.

I think an inside man is still the best low-tech way in. Or an incompetent one.

melindamusil
09-13-2013, 11:38 PM
With a museum, there's a point of time where the MC or character in question would be allowed to be on the property. If he paid general admission and just hid in a bathroom or something until the museum shut down, I'd imagine that he would be able to move freely through any given section.

Hm, I like this idea...



The only problem is that he wouldn't be able to leave without tripping the alarm, or find a place to hid until the museum opens to the public again.
...but this is the challenge. Maybe he can put a guard at gunpoint and force him to disable the system?


It is and also depends on the size and type of museum and what you're protecting, obvs. Some places might be easier to have patrolling guards if it's a big place or big area with like, a giant hunk of an Egyptian temple (because obvs. how is someone going to abscond with that? Not that someone couldn't try but you'd think it'd be easier to notice in time) vs. Faberge stuff or the Mona Lisa or sculptures or yeah.

Agreed. That's one reason why I'm opting for a small-to-medium size museum - the biggies would have the best security systems. I've heard of people trying to break into huge museums (like the Louvre or Musee D'Orsay in Paris), but those were all either small-time criminals who were quickly caught, or huge multi-million-dollar enterprises.



The fake cop thing I think depends on the place as well - as well as the way it's situated. If like, the desk is facing the street, a guard would see a cruiser or not, you know?
From what I understand, the Gardner theft occurred during some kind of festival, so it was already moderately chaotic outside. (incidentally, it is still unsolved, the paintings have not been returned, and I believe it is the highest-value theft in US history.) I'm not sure if it would work in any ole' museum - like you said, wouldn't the guards be looking for other clues?

GingerGunlock
09-13-2013, 11:39 PM
It's kind of an unwritten rule in I.T security that the weakest component in security sits between the keyboard and the back of the desk chair.

People. A surprisingly large number of institutions rely on "security through obscurity," the idea that no one outside knows what the security is really, and so will be too scared to carry out the criminal act. Or that they'll attack what they know rather than what they don't know.

I think an inside man is still the best low-tech way in. Or an incompetent one.

Yup. Social engineering is my prime suggestion for questions such as these.




Also, some security systems only "sound an alarm" when it detects the sound of breaking glass. So, a window could just be opened with no ill-effect to the opener, but if the same window was broken, the alarm would go off.

melindamusil
09-13-2013, 11:49 PM
It's kind of an unwritten rule in I.T security that the weakest component in security sits between the keyboard and the back of the desk chair.

People. A surprisingly large number of institutions rely on "security through obscurity," the idea that no one outside knows what the security is really, and so will be too scared to carry out the criminal act. Or that they'll attack what they know rather than what they don't know.

I think an inside man is still the best low-tech way in. Or an incompetent one.

That is true. I'm not in IT security but I've worked with computers enough to know that there are too many people who stick the password on a post-it next to the monitor...



Also, some security systems only "sound an alarm" when it detects the sound of breaking glass. So, a window could just be opened with no ill-effect to the opener, but if the same window was broken, the alarm would go off.

I like, I like... :)

Myrealana
09-13-2013, 11:54 PM
It's kind of an unwritten rule in I.T security that the weakest component in security sits between the keyboard and the back of the desk chair. It's the rule in bank security, too. It would shock you how many bank "robberies" do not involve guns or notes or silent alarms, but social engineering or an inside man.

It doesn't take a lot to get cooperation from the right person. A small bribe, or a little blackmail to someone who already might not have a ton of company loyalty, and you're in.

jimmymc
09-14-2013, 12:06 AM
Start a real smoky fire with a timed device away from the area you want to burglarize, maybe use a few smoke grenades when you come back in with the firemen.

PeteMC
09-14-2013, 12:07 AM
Thus... I need to disable the security alarm.

Not really, you just need the security system to think you're allowed to be in there.

As said above, either social-engineer the passwords out of some nitwit on the night security desk, or get a curator drunk and steal their security pass.

The site I work at is all controlled by proximity sensor security access cards, but the cards aren't biometrically linked to their rightful owners. Therefore if you've got my card, you can get into anywhere I can get into (which is everywhere, anytime of the day or night) without tripping any alarms.

Sure the logs will show the access when it's checked the next day, but by then you're long gone.

King Neptune
09-14-2013, 12:16 AM
Then there's the walking in looking like a couple of plumbers who are supposed to replaces something. That wouldn't work at a major museum, but there are places where it might work, especially if the truck and the personnel looked right. Banging around in the basement until closing would also help. Then a pipe wrench on the head of the guards, and . . .

DeleyanLee
09-14-2013, 12:18 AM
The only problem is that he wouldn't be able to leave without tripping the alarm, or find a place to hid until the museum opens to the public again.

Why is tripping the alarm on the way out a problem?

I mean--think about it. It's a problem if you're going IN, but going out?

If you're savvy enough to stay in there, do the job, then you're savvy enough to have the way out firmly established and ready to be there. And as long as you're not speeding (and the museum isn't located in a really isolated place that gets zero traffic), who's going to notice a car on the street going away from the building?

It's just more legwork at the beginning to time your exit for shift-change or some other cops-aren't-anywhere-near point of their routine.

cbenoi1
09-14-2013, 12:24 AM
In my story, I have a thief go to extraordinary lengths to make sure everything from the outside looking in looks, smells, and tastes like a robbery. When the FBI comes in to investigate, it fuels rumors something has indeed been stolen. Something big and valuable. Then there's this big denial from authorities, fueling even more speculations about what really happened.

By that time, my robber has sold a couple of fake copies...

-cb

Drachen Jager
09-14-2013, 12:34 AM
There's an art museum near here that had a lot of items stolen a few years ago.

The thieves phoned the central security office and identified themselves as employees of the company that maintained the security hardware. They said not to worry about any alarms, as there was a fault in the system, and they'd have it fixed in a few hours.

Security guards, as a rule, are not that bright. If they were bright they'd do something that paid better and didn't suck so bad.

PeteMC
09-14-2013, 12:48 AM
Security guards, as a rule, are not that bright. If they were bright they'd do something that paid better and didn't suck so bad.

Like many rules, that one isn't true.

Security is definitely one of those areas where you get what you pay for. Rent-a nightwatchman may well not be a genius, but then the company I work for has some security people who are ex-Secret Service / Special Forces and are decidedly not thick.

Cyia
09-14-2013, 12:55 AM
Use the annoyance method. Have your thief set off the security system via remote (with a remote controlled helicopter or some such that can disturb the motion detectors) so often in such a short period of time that security starts to think it's a malfunction. If you've got 20 "breaches" going at once, then foot patrols won't be able to cover them all.

Grab and Go.

Drachen Jager
09-14-2013, 01:32 AM
Security is definitely one of those areas where you get what you pay for. Rent-a nightwatchman may well not be a genius, but then the company I work for has some security people who are ex-Secret Service / Special Forces and are decidedly not thick.

And they spend a lot of time sitting around guardrooms watching the video feeds at art museums?

Obviously I'm talking about "Rent-a nightwatchman". That's what the thread is about. "Security Guard" and the type of security you're talking about are not the same thing.

But, I've known some pretty thick Special Forces types. Certainly the minimum IQ required is slightly higher than it is for a grunt, but those guys ain't rocket scientists.

PeteMC
09-14-2013, 01:37 AM
I have no idea what they spend their time doing other than following the CEO and board members around to be honest. But art museums, no.

I still think the easiest way into somewhere is to make the somewhere think you're allowed to be there.

Cath
09-14-2013, 01:43 AM
When the alarm goes off at the school my dad works at, a security company will give him a call. He needs to give a security code to the firm and they stop worrying about it. If your point person is on holiday, perhaps he has a backup assistant who takes the call & gives the code. So you'd need to hijack the cell phone and security code and be able to give the security company a plausible excuse for the alarm going off. It strikes me as doable.

Alessandra Kelley
09-14-2013, 01:49 AM
I know of at least one smallish place where you needed to show an ID to get where the valuable stuff was, and have your bag checked when you left ... but not if you were only going to or from the cafeteria.

Thing is, there was a fire door between the cafeteria and the secure place, and employees routinely left it propped open for their convenience. It was not in an obvious place, but it was accessible. Someone could have gone from the cafeteria to the secure place and out without a bag check.

Sunflowerrei
09-14-2013, 02:05 AM
Incidentally--the Gardner Museum is a small museum. If you visit, you can see the frames of some of the paintings that were stolen.

At my job--I work in a department store--the security cameras spend more time watching the employees than the customers. Although the customers come up with really creative ways to steal items. A malfunctioning sensor security tower at the doorway might be enough to fool security. They have those at some museums.

jclarkdawe
09-14-2013, 03:25 AM
Simplest way to get past any security system is bribery. Unless you really multi-layer the system, one guy at a time usually controls everything and once he's paid off, the rest is simple.

A little bit more complicated is set off the fire alarm while the place is open. Partner goes in right behind the fire department, in bunker gear. No one will notice. Partner then hides while the building is empty as fire department searches building, then steals whatever during the night. Lots of variations on the faker approach can be used. Guard supervisor who shows up at night. Showing up looking like cops and approaching security guard (Gardner Museum).

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Drachen Jager
09-14-2013, 03:36 AM
Oh, another I just remembered, if the community is small and the museum doesn't have a direct alarm line to the cops (unless it's a big one it wouldn't) you can use it.

Some guys used this to rob an armoured car.

They sent leaflets out to thousands of households the day before their robbery, saying that the 911 system needed a volume check, and anyone who would be home at 7:00 PM was asked to please call in to the 911 line at that time.

The system was flooded, so the guards calling from the armoured car didn't get through until it was way too late.

Then you just hold the few guards at gunpoint and rob the place. They wouldn't usually fight back if your firepower is great enough, they don't get paid enough for heroics.

wendymarlowe
09-14-2013, 05:31 AM
Is there a plot reason the robbery has to happen at the museum itself? Museums only display a fraction of the collections they own, and the rest are generally stored off-site at a warehouse somewhere. (Very small museums and historic houses may store the extras in a basement or attic.) The warehouse for someplace like the Smithsonian will obviously have better security than your local "history of corn" museum, of course, but you'd be surprised at how many "normal" museums don't bother with real security at all. They assume that since 95% of their collection isn't *that* valuable, an obscure building with a good lock on it and maybe a remote security trigger on the door is good enough. They don't think about the 5% of their collection that is valuable, or the fact that if you steal enough of that 95% you'll net yourself a good amount of money.

Of course, this would pose different challenges: off-site facilities aren't really set up for the public, and the staff who work there tend to know each other by sight even at big warehouses because there just aren't that many of them. And your thieves would have to know where to look (i.e. be familiar with the museum's filing system), because objects in the collection will be stored for long-term preservation - so paintings will be covered, statues will be wrapped appropriately, things will be airtight and temperature-controlled, etc. But if you make it an inside job (even the "I'm with the security company" thing), it would be relatively easy and you wouldn't be under a time crunch.

Torgo
09-14-2013, 05:41 AM
There's an episode of Mythbusters called Crimes and Myth-demeanours where they try to fox burglar alarms using low-tech methods.

Infrared motion sensors can be fooled with a pane of glass held in line with the sensor. The glass very effectively blocks the kind of heat signatures they're looking for. Ultrasonic motion sensors can be fooled by holding a bedsheet in front of yourself. You can also beat the latter by moving v...e....r.....y.... s....l....o....w....l......y. Like, 20 minutes to cross a corridor.

Fingerprint scanners - not like you're likely to see any in a museum, but anyway - can be fooled from anything from a gel finger made in an acid-etched fingerprint mould to (would you believe it) just a photo of the print on a bit of celluloid. It turns out they're kind of crap (plus you leave usable prints everywhere, so it's easy to get the 'password' without your mark knowing. Looking forward to that iPhone 5S, Apple!)

frimble3
09-14-2013, 09:09 AM
Agreed. That's one reason why I'm opting for a small-to-medium size museum - the biggies would have the best security systems. I've heard of people trying to break into huge museums (like the Louvre or Musee D'Orsay in Paris), but those were all either small-time criminals who were quickly caught, or huge multi-million-dollar enterprises.


From what I understand, the Gardner theft occurred during some kind of festival, so it was already moderately chaotic outside. (incidentally, it is still unsolved, the paintings have not been returned, and I believe it is the highest-value theft in US history.) I'm not sure if it would work in any ole' museum - like you said, wouldn't the guards be looking for other clues?
This would be the advantage of a made-up museum, rather than a real one: you can completely control the scenario.

And, the chaotic moment would be good. Any chance of having a lavish grand opening for a new exhibit, or a large bequest?
Lots of strangers milling around, some with invitations, some with jobs, (security, caterers, valets, waiters) and lots of wealthy donors and experts and stuff, that won't like being annoyed by security people. Easy to get lost in the crowd, easy to pretend to be 'lost', if challenged.


Then there's the walking in looking like a couple of plumbers who are supposed to replaces something. That wouldn't work at a major museum, but there are places where it might work, especially if the truck and the personnel looked right. Banging around in the basement until closing would also help. Then a pipe wrench on the head of the guards, and . . .
If your characters can pick their own time, and research the museum, why not wait for an exhibition to be packed for travel to another museum, then just change the shipping dates. Your MC's drive up in a big truck, dressed as movers (there are usually a few companies who specialise in that sort of delicate move) pick up the stuff and leave. A day later, the real movers show up.


Is there a plot reason the robbery has to happen at the museum itself? Museums only display a fraction of the collections they own, and the rest are generally stored off-site at a warehouse somewhere. (Very small museums and historic houses may store the extras in a basement or attic.) The warehouse for someplace like the Smithsonian will obviously have better security than your local "history of corn" museum, of course, but you'd be surprised at how many "normal" museums don't bother with real security at all. They assume that since 95% of their collection isn't *that* valuable, an obscure building with a good lock on it and maybe a remote security trigger on the door is good enough. They don't think about the 5% of their collection that is valuable, or the fact that if you steal enough of that 95% you'll net yourself a good amount of money.

Of course, this would pose different challenges: off-site facilities aren't really set up for the public, and the staff who work there tend to know each other by sight even at big warehouses because there just aren't that many of them. And your thieves would have to know where to look (i.e. be familiar with the museum's filing system), because objects in the collection will be stored for long-term preservation - so paintings will be covered, statues will be wrapped appropriately, things will be airtight and temperature-controlled, etc. But if you make it an inside job (even the "I'm with the security company" thing), it would be relatively easy and you wouldn't be under a time crunch.
I wonder if it would be worth the thieves' while to get an inside man at the storage center? Put in fake requisitions for a travelling exhibit, or to loan to another museum, or just for cleaning? Then just load up the truck and away you go. Probably not the sort of story you want to write, though, not very exciting.

cornflake
09-14-2013, 09:54 AM
The guard thing, like many things, depends. It depends on the variety of person, the hiring company, and the museum itself as to what it requires. Go to the MET in NY, for example, ask a guard for the Degas, and it's likely you'll be asked which Degas and then directed by explaining which wing Degas would fit in. It's an extremely large and maze-like museum.

That also has to do with the better security thing - obvs. larger, more money, better security, but the largest museums, with the stuff like part of a temple hanging about, often don't have the whole joint wired for motion or anything, because it'd be bananas. They have patrolling guards and lots of other things, including motion and different levels of security but it's easier to do one concept in a smaller place I think.

GeekTells
09-14-2013, 11:27 AM
I have a belated vote of support for social engineering.

In addition to all the wonderful comments above, I think social engineering offers you, the writer, a great opportunity for fun, adventure, drama, risk, tension, and mental badassery on the part of the social engineer. I love reading about characters who do and say clever things to get others to do what they want.

King Neptune
09-14-2013, 05:39 PM
Incidentally--the Gardner Museum is a small museum. If you visit, you can see the frames of some of the paintings that were stolen.

At my job--I work in a department store--the security cameras spend more time watching the employees than the customers. Although the customers come up with really creative ways to steal items. A malfunctioning sensor security tower at the doorway might be enough to fool security. They have those at some museums.

Are you suggesting that one should get a job at an art museum and do an inside job?

King Neptune
09-14-2013, 05:42 PM
If your characters can pick their own time, and research the museum, why not wait for an exhibition to be packed for travel to another museum, then just change the shipping dates. Your MC's drive up in a big truck, dressed as movers (there are usually a few companies who specialise in that sort of delicate move) pick up the stuff and leave. A day later, the real movers show up.


That's a great idea. It would be extremely funny to watch when the real movers arrived.

cbenoi1
09-15-2013, 04:50 AM
http://jps.anl.gov/Volume4/Paper4-ECMichaud.pdf

Interesting read.

-cb

Trebor1415
09-15-2013, 09:26 AM
I'd go with some clever social engineering that would make the musueum employees unwitting accomplices.

For instance, let's say the robbers are able to scope out the security ahead of time. That's not unreasonable.

Let's say they realize that the guards don't conduct a 100% accurate "head count" at closing and instead rely on a quick walk-through to make sure everyone has left.

The characters could plan on planting least one "stay behind." This would be a single person or a very small group of people who would simply buy tickets, and then find a place to hide after the museum closes. It's very low tech, and a cliche, but can still work if they are clever about finding a hiding space. The fewer people, the easier it is to hide. If one person hides he can let the rest of the crew in through an exit. Or, if only 2 or 3 people are needed inside for the theft, maybe they all hide so they only need to open an outside door or window once.

As to where they hide, use your imagination, and do some reading to see where "stay behinds" have hid in various burgleries. The bathrooms and other public areas are sure to be checked, but areas that are normally off limits, such as administration areas or work areas, likely won't be checked as closely.

That's where social engineering can come in. If they can come up with a pretext to get into employee's only areas, they can find a hiding spot less likely to be discovered. This can range from a very seldom used storage area, to inside a crate, inside a museum vehicle in the garage, etc.

Another way they can use social engineering is with the alarms. Let's say they know there is a motion sensor in an area they need to cross. Starting several weeks before the theft they need to figure out a way to trigger that motion sensor remotely after hours. Once they do that a few times, the guards will notice a "problem" with the system and may try to troubleshoot. The robbers then make the alarm go off even more frequently, and seemingly randomly, until the guards either disable that particular sensor or just ignore it. (Don't laugh, this has worked).

Once that sensor is out, they can access the area they need to access. As to getting out, the doors might be alarmed, but I'd bet that not ALL the windows are alarmed. All they have to do is figure out what windowed are unalarmed and have a way of opening that window and dropping to the ground. A rope or ladder or something similar would work.

What I'm describing isn't them "Beating"the security system through technical means (like a hacker breaking into their computers) as it is them just doing some legwork, finding a pretext to be in normally restricted areas, (both to scout and to stay behind on "the day") and then using the guard's own human nature against them.

I'm sure there are plenty of other scenarios you could come up with that are variations on this theme.

wendymarlowe
09-15-2013, 10:17 AM
MyCity's library had a homeless guy living in the ceiling of the men's bathroom for a while - he was there months before he was discovered, judging by the detritus up there. (Just stand on the counter, pop up a ceiling tile, and haul yourself up! The after-hours security never thought to check. He even tapped into the power up there!)

As for the random alarm thing - I'd roll my eyes at security guards who saw an alarm going off and assumed it was nothing - that plot has been done so many times. Personally, I think it would make for a better story if you can invent an "obvious" reason the alarm keeps going off - can the thieves release a live bird into the room to trip the motion detectors? Carry in lots of cockroaches? Something the guards would see, recognize might they assume are setting off the alarms , and say "Eh, I can identify the problem but solving it (catching the bird/bugs/etc.) is above my paygrade."

frimble3
09-15-2013, 10:53 AM
Re: 'Stay-behinds': if you only need one person to open up the place for the others, how about we go 'delivery man' again? One guy, dressed as a delivery man, wheels in a dolly with something big and bulky, but not terribly interesting. Not art, or anything that people might want to check out. A big case of toilet paper, or paper towels, maybe? Haul it in, offer to take it right to the storage closet (usually in an employees-only area so the visitors don't walk off with the paper products.)

oakbark
09-16-2013, 12:14 PM
...Social engineering...


Ooo I love that term!!

jaksen
09-16-2013, 11:33 PM
Well I've heard that in some places in Europe the security system is a guy at at the door. (Because there are so many museums, many of them private and small, and they can't afford the expense of elaborate security and they don't see the point as they've never been robbed.)

But I did read an article saying the artwork, etc., kept in small museums throughout Italy (incl. churches) is mind-boggling.

Or you could have a medium-sized museum which has up-to-date security - for the time it was installed, with few modifications or updates. So if it was installed, or wired in by the local electrician in 1998, it might be easy to get by.

But it's the human factor that should be most vulnerable and most easily exploited. People coming and going, forgetting to turn this off or that on, or being easily bribed or fooled.

GingerGunlock
09-17-2013, 12:40 AM
Ooo I love that term!!

It's a great term, and a fascinating subject, to be sure!

WeaselFire
09-17-2013, 12:49 AM
What other ways can I use to get around a security system?
Wear a hard hat and carry a clipboard. You'd be surprised at what you can get into. :)

Jeff

robjvargas
09-17-2013, 12:53 AM
Wear a hard hat and carry a clipboard. You'd be surprised at what you can get into. :)

Jeff

:e2thud:

King Neptune
09-17-2013, 04:07 PM
Wear a hard hat and carry a clipboard. You'd be surprised at what you can get into. :)

Jeff

That is true. Actually, you can drop the hard hat and just look official.

Myrealana
09-17-2013, 05:59 PM
That is true. Actually, you can drop the hard hat and just look official.

Especially if you have an acomplice already making a scene about something. It can be "Do you know who I am?" kind of a thing, or screaming about her lost child, or a teen commiting minor vandalism and running.

There's a reason magicians use attractive assistants in sparkly dresses.

King Neptune
09-17-2013, 06:11 PM
Especially if you have an acomplice already making a scene about something. It can be "Do you know who I am?" kind of a thing, or screaming about her lost child, or a teen commiting minor vandalism and running.

There's a reason magicians use attractive assistants in sparkly dresses.

It's horrible how conditioned most people are to some kinds of situation.

It makes me want to rob a museum.

Nivarion
09-17-2013, 06:22 PM
There are a lot of creative ways that you could get past the security. I've heard it said that the best hackers hack systems.

One way that is all too plausible is to have a friend dress up in an official looking uniform, say he is from the alarm company and that he is there to survey the system. Make some comment like "oh man that's not been plugged in all this time? I'm going to fix this but it will cause a false alarm" and then unplug the the wire for the target display.

By the time everyone figures out that he's not official he can be well on his merry way and his friend with the system.

frimble3
09-18-2013, 09:32 AM
There are a lot of creative ways that you could get past the security. I've heard it said that the best hackers hack systems.

One way that is all too plausible is to have a friend dress up in an official looking uniform, say he is from the alarm company and that he is there to survey the system. Make some comment like "oh man that's not been plugged in all this time? I'm going to fix this but it will cause a false alarm" and then unplug the the wire for the target display.

By the time everyone figures out that he's not official he can be well on his merry way and his friend with the system.
That's not a 'false alarm', that's 'testing the system' :D, as in the e-mail our boss sends when they're doing the annual fire-alarm check.
Goes something like this:
"On XX date, we will be testing the fire-alarm system. The fire-alarms will go off intermittently, this is not a drill or a fire, just a test. If there is a fire, the alarm will ring continuously." Could be someone purporting to be from the security company contacts the museum, saying their records indicate the system hasn't been tested in ages, and would XX date be good for them? Couple of guys, with clipboards and toolboxes come in and have at 'er.
Or, just set off the fire alarms? On a busy day, that should cause havoc.

Roxxsmom
09-18-2013, 09:39 AM
Motion detectors can sometimes be avoided by ducking below the beams. We had one in the warehouse I worked in for a while, and when things were slow, I'd entertain myself by trying to figure out how to walk around the perimeter of the place without making the light flash (when the alarm was disarmed, it still flashed when you broke the beam). A combination of walking hunched over and moving really slowly did it.

No, I've never applied this knowledge to anything practical. It was a boring job, what can I say?

I believe inexpensive home systems with motion detectors near doors and windows (as opposed to ones where every door and window is wired) are set up to not respond to things below a certain height, since pets would set them off otherwise.

But a modern museum would likely have a better system than this. Still, there would have to be a lower limit, or rats and such would be setting it off.

Degas_Dancer_Sydney
09-18-2013, 11:36 AM
Chiming in late, but this is of interest:
http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/09/13/1341217/20-toy-deactivates-cheap-home-alarms-opens-doors

Skipping the heavy tech details - a cheap alarm system doesn't use "codes" in its remote control, just a simple "on / off" pulse from the remote control.

Of course, an expensive system wouldn't work this way, but if the museum was shy of money ...