0916: Unpickable

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0916: Unpickable

Postby Brickmack » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:39 am UTC

Image

Alt text: "The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube."

Wouldn't a fused pin make it un-openable by key?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby TectonInd » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:47 am UTC

That's why the valuables go in the shoebox.

Edit: FIRST
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby addams » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:51 am UTC

ahhh. It reminds me of The Littlest Angel.

What is in the shoe box?
A butterfly wing and a rock?

I have a butterfly wing and a rock.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby glasnt » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:51 am UTC

"Yeah, because shoeboxes hold valuables other than shoes... *goes for safe*" - robber
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby MatteoTom » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:53 am UTC

Thank you Randall for telling me where my parents keep the credit cards. Now I have the same problem as comic 792.
Last edited by MatteoTom on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby bugstomper » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:54 am UTC

Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby ysth » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:54 am UTC

"The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube."

Now that's just cruel.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby iChef » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:55 am UTC

This is like nerd sniping with an orbital kinetic energy weapon.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby n0mgoose » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:21 am UTC

I find the 4x4 Rubik's cube a lot more challenging, myself. Too many parity issues.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby ManaUser » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:51 am UTC

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.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:54 am UTC

bugstomper wrote:Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?

n0mgoose wrote:I find the 4x4 Rubik's cube a lot more challenging, myself. Too many parity issues.

7x7, it's the only way to be sure!
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Lorenz » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:58 am UTC

Feynman would still find a way to crack it.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:01 am UTC

iChef wrote:This is like nerd sniping with an orbital kinetic energy weapon.

Bonus nerd sniping points: make it an orbital ion cannon. And have it fire several shots to cover the shuttle's escape.

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.

The safe is manufactured around the cube, of course. Standard practice dontchaknow.
Last edited by SpringLoaded12 on Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:02 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby deiden26 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:02 am UTC

I am instantly reminded of comic 538*

*http://xkcd.com/538/
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Turing Machine » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:05 am UTC

The Purloined Letter theory
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby capncanuck » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:20 am UTC

bugstomper wrote:Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?


I thought any combination of mixed colours is possible with Rubix cubes.
Am I wrong?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby adho » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:28 am UTC

capncanuck wrote:
bugstomper wrote:Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?


I thought any combination of mixed colours is possible with Rubix cubes.
Am I wrong?


Yes, if you swapped a middle square with a corner square it would be unsolvable.
I had this problem. Trying to get my grandfather's safe open using the number sequence, which was written in code, and we had no idea how the tumbler worked. Turned out the deeds were in the cupboard next to the safe. I learnt a lot about safes, and basic searching technique.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby rcox1 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:44 am UTC

There is a school of thought that a safes main purpose is to keep sensitive materials safe long enough so a human, either through an alarm or routine patrol can interrupt the person trying to break in before the break is successful. In this case you might spend 2 grand on a TL-15 safe knowing that the alarm will sound and the cops might get there less than in 15 minutes. The safe is heavy enough so it cannot be easily moved.

Or you could just spend the 2 grand on shoes, and have a sufficient number of shoe boxes so that it will take the criminal 15 minutes to find the shoe box with actual sensitive material. Or on books, because it is hard to beat the security of sensitive papers in random books.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby StClair » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:47 am UTC

"The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube."

You fiend!
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:48 am UTC

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
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Lucia » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:54 am UTC

rcox1 wrote: Or on books, because it is hard to beat the security of sensitive papers in random books.

Double-stacked shelves with anything important in the least-used, dustiest section? But what if they start pulling them off the shelves and dumping them on the ground? Also, how do you hide things that are slightly bulkier?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby ijuin » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:59 am UTC

Of course, a geek would never think to look in the shoebox for anything valuable when the safe was right in front of him. :D
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby tagno25 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:18 am UTC

Lucia wrote:
rcox1 wrote: Or on books, because it is hard to beat the security of sensitive papers in random books.

Double-stacked shelves with anything important in the least-used, dustiest section? But what if they start pulling them off the shelves and dumping them on the ground? Also, how do you hide things that are slightly bulkier?

In the hidden room behind the in wall book shelf?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby McHell » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:22 am UTC

You need a second safe, inside the shoebox, to protect against regular burglars.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Klear » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:19 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:Or you could just spend the 2 grand on shoes, and have a sufficient number of shoe boxes so that it will take the criminal 15 minutes to find the shoe box with actual sensitive material. Or on books, because it is hard to beat the security of sensitive papers in random books.


15 minutes on average. This system is vulnerable to dumb luck.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Makdaam » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:39 am UTC

Security by obscurity never works... some script kiddie is going to try to steal your shoes.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby tjunction » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:45 am UTC

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.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:00 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:There is a school of thought that a safes main purpose is to keep sensitive materials safe long enough so a human, either through an alarm or routine patrol can interrupt the person trying to break in before the break is successful. In this case you might spend 2 grand on a TL-15 safe knowing that the alarm will sound and the cops might get there less than in 15 minutes. The safe is heavy enough so it cannot be easily moved.

Or you could just spend the 2 grand on shoes, and have a sufficient number of shoe boxes so that it will take the criminal 15 minutes to find the shoe box with actual sensitive material. Or on books, because it is hard to beat the security of sensitive papers in random books.


Basically true. While you hope your safe or security is completely secure, you plan to catch any attacks before they succeed. So we all had alarms, with guaranteed response times (they would drop less important work, or have reserve staff or whatever) from the police or authorities in my old jobs. The Safes were then made according to amount stored. The more stored, the bigger and badder they got. Most were just big lumps of metal, with ordinary dual key access. But getting hold of the keys, getting the doors open, fiddling with the broken catches, and then getting out again, took long enough for the staff let alone anyone else. :D
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby synErr » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:03 am UTC

Security by obscurity. Won't hold long.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Ideas sleep furiously. » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:18 am UTC

Even more geek proof, put the safe ontop of the shoebox.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dataxpress » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:18 am UTC

Yeah, but what if they broke in with the intention of stealing your one nice pair of shoes?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby ariana » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:26 am UTC

I keep my money inside my piano. And in the inserts in an old push-up bra.

of course, if I meet a particularly musical burglar there's a problem.

...or a horny one.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Corka » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:40 am UTC

Makdaam wrote:Security by obscurity never works... some script kiddie is going to try to steal your shoes.


I think they had the same problem with their security measure on the Gates of Moria.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby snowyowl » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:15 am UTC

A rubik's cube? My safe has a note with a 1024-bit RSA public key and a bank sorting code, account number, and security code encrypted with that key. The account contains £20.
I also keep a shoebox next to the safe with £30 in it, while the real shoebox is hidden behind a false bottom in my sock drawer.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Layrajha » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:50 am UTC

Is that, to safe boxes, what steganography is to cryptography?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby caf » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:38 am UTC

Wouldn't 5x5 be a Rubik's square?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby project2051 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:47 am UTC

Reminds me of a local robbery at a gas station a few years ago. The robbers cut an empty safe out of a concrete floor and ran off with it, while leaving a register containing a couple of thousand dollars just sitting on the counter.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby neoliminal » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:57 am UTC

I accidentally the whole contents of my safe.

So much for security through.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:32 pm UTC

Congratulations Randall, you have successfully deterred me from a life of crime, because I know this system would work on me.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby DragonHawk » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:56 pm UTC

rcox1 wrote:There is a school of thought that a safes main purpose is to keep sensitive materials safe long enough so a human, either through an alarm or routine patrol can interrupt the person trying to break in before the break is successful.

That is indeed the usual thinking, from what I've seen.

"There is no such thing as a security -- only managed risk." You identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. You evaluate potential countermeasures. You consider what compromise would cost. You deploy a countermeasures as the cost of compromise exceeds the cost of the countermeasures.

When it comes to typical security protection against untargeted or loosely-targeted attacks, it's a truism that security measures are just a deterrent intended to make the attacker move on to his next potential victim. "A car alarm doesn't prevent a thief from stealing your car. A car alarm makes it easier to steal the car parked next to yours."

When protecting things of value (thus attracting determined attackers), things definitely get interesting.

"It is important to realize that any lock can be picked with a big enough hammer." (Sun System Admin Manual.)

The government-approved "GSA security containers" at work have stickers on them saying they're protected for X hours of "surreptitious entry" attempts, X hours against "manipulation of the lock", and "no forced entry". As you say, their point is to keep someone out of them long enough for security personnel to respond. They are also designed to provide clear evidence of tampering. A compromised secret is bad, but when you don't *know* it's compromised, that's exponentially worse.

Keeping a low profile is always a good idea. Decoy targets, as illustrated in "Unpickable", may stop amateurs and opportunity crimes, but a real professional won't be fooled. Of course, it's also worth pointing out that attackers sometimes have different motivation. Sometimes the primary motivation isn't the nominal asset, but the associated reputation. Witness recent attacks by "Anonymous", "Lulzsec", etc.
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