Tuesday, August 07, 2007

White House, Pentagon locks can be easily 'breached'

LAS VEGAS: Hackers gathered in Las Vegas showed ways to crack electronic key-card systems and deadbolt locks used at security-sensitive places, including the White House and the Pentagon.

"If you can't physically protect your computer, you are screwed," said Zac Franken, a hacker who engineered a way to outwit door locks relying on key cards. "Most people think that computers inside buildings are secure. How many computers do you see left logged on at night?"

Franken's creation was among the real-world lock-cracking revelations made at the DefCon hackers conference, where a room is devoted to the "sport" of lock picking.

Medeco deadbolt locks relied on worldwide at embassies, banks and other tempting targets for thieves, spies or terrorists can be opened in seconds with a strip of metal and a thin screw driver, Marc Tobias of Security.org demonstrated at the meet.

"This is incredible; it's unreal," Tobias said while showing the ease with which the locks can breached. Franken is equally protective of the simple electronics he uses in a device that can be spliced into wires connecting key card readers to computer systems that control door locks.


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