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Security Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 39 comments and questions on Security issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Major players in biometrics Biometrics USA
 
Wants to study access control Access Control UK
 
Friend was mugged Muggers USA
 
Wants device similar to Club Automobile
 
Wants to catch thief Automobile
 
Security guard Need
 
Implementing biometrics Biometrics
 
Email security General India
 
Alarmed car stolen Automobile
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


Biometrics

Major players in biometrics

January 16, 2005

Question

Who are the major contributors or players to biometrics?

Tiffany - USA (5633)

Answer

I'm sorry but we don't know the top vendors. There are so many. For a list of biometric companies, see:
http://dmoz.org/Computers/Security/Biometrics/Companies/

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Access Control

Wants to study access control

November 15, 2004

Question

im a studentin london and now i 'll like to study acces control and cctv ,i would be grateful if you could find a different name of school where do that subject please. i already tried in many ways but i didnt find out yet.

brahima - UK (5026)

Answer

With the need for security, there seems to be a shortage of schools teaching physical security, as opposed to computer security. My recommendation is to find companies providing access control and CCTV systems in the London area and ask them where you can get such training. Often companies have their own in-house training.

Best wishes in your career.

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Muggers

Friend was mugged

August 12, 2004

Question

Thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail. My name is Steve i am 20 years old, and i am from Baltimore Maryland. I work as a security officer in the city. I stand guard over a few different stores, often with police assistance. About 2 months ago a friend of mine was walking to the bus stop and was mugged behind the plaza. she apparently fought back, and did manage to hit the man in the face with pepper spray. im not sure whether or not i was working that night, because she had never brought it to my attention, however this evening a fellow co worker did bring it to my attention. i have yet to approach her about it, but we are going out to dinner this weekend and i do intend to confront her about it. I have a feeling that i know who it was, there is a "Homeless" man who hangs around the plaza late at night, and around the time that this took place, he started to change his appearance. he shaved and changed the clothes he had on and started to wear a different hat. he also started to avoid me, and the store where this friend of mine works. he is acting suspicious and i do intend to ask her if that was the man. if it does turn out that it was him, What should i do ?

- USA (3988)

Answer

Your friend certainly taught the mugger a lesson not to mess with her. In your discussion with her, you can praise her on her bravery. And you could ask if she recognized the mugger and contacted the police.

Although the homeless person may look suspicious, you really can't accuse him unless you have some solid evidence. Sometimes muggers are roamers who move from area to area.

If she thinks he was the guy, the next question is if she wants to go through the trouble of trying to prosecute him. Often people just leave things drop.

You can offer your help, but also realize that some people may think you are meddling.

Let me know how things turn out.

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Automobile

Wants device similar to Club

February 28, 2004

Question

Several months ago on an infomersial I saw a new car security product which I have not seen since. The product for sale was simalar to "The Club" only it fit under the gas pedal and up through the steering wheel. Can you please tell me the name of this device and where I could purchase such a tool.

- (2547)

Answer

I don't know the name of the device, but I've seen them in auto parts stores, where they also sell the Club. I think the Club is less expensive, but they are both a good idea to discourage thieves.

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Automobile

Wants to catch thief

October 23, 2003

Question

Our car has been broken into twice this year. We are so mad about it we want to catch this guy or girl so that we can press charges against him or at least get him in trouble for something else. What can I do to catch this guy on a budget. I was thinking of leaving a signed check in our car and then calling all of the businesses that cash checks and telling them to call the police if someone attempts to cash this check. There has to be more than just sitting this out on the sidelines thanks.

Benjamin - (945)

Answer

Most likely, the guy lives within 2 miles of your place. He may even be a neighbor. Have you reported the break-ins to the police? They may have a record of similar robberies in the area and be on the outlook for the crook.

That is a clever idea about the check. But I would talk to the police about it first to see if there was a way to actually catch the guy cashing it.

But a problem with catching the crook is often they simply let the guy off with a slap on the wrist. Although you can try to help catch him, your big concern should be to protect your car from being broken into. One philosophy I have is to never leave anything in sight in your car. Even an old basketball in the back seat is an excuse to break in. Another solution is an inexpensive car alarm that will beep the horn if someone enters without pushing a secret button within a short time. That won't stop a professional car thief, but it could discourage this punk from bothering with your car.

Best wishes in stopping this thief and perhaps even catching him.

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Need

Security guard

September 23, 2003

Question

Hello, I a Nigeria 25yrs male and I want to be a security gaurd. What can I do.

Dare - (642)

Answer

There is a great need for security guards. The best thing to do is when you see a security guard, try to talk to him to find out the training needed and where he applied for his job. There are guards at the airport, in banks and businesses.

Best wishes in getting a good job.

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Biometrics

Implementing biometrics

September 15, 2003

Question

I am doing a research on the implementation of biometrics security, i need information on how biometrics is used in IT security (including its state of art) how fingerprints, siganture are used (how it works) and their importance, flow charts and sample algorithms on how to identify a person based on his physiological or behavioral characteristic

Folashade - (533)

Answer

You can get some good information on biometrics security at:
http://www.infosyssec.com/infosyssec/biomet1.htm

The following information is from:
http://www.eto.ch/press/nationalIDcards.htm

I hope this helps you.

"Biometrics is the use of a unique physiological or behavioral characteristic to identify or verify an individual. Theoretically, any human characteristic can be used to identify an individual, provided that the following requirements are met; universality, uniqueness, persistence and collectability. Universality requires that every person should have the characteristic. Uniqueness implies that there must be sufficient variability within a group of people, such that no two people are exactly the same in terms of the characteristic. Persistence requires that the characteristic is time invariant. Collectability means that the characteristic must be accessible to quantitative measurement.

For example hand geometry, iris pattern, retinal pattern, wrist vein pattern, facial features and fingerprints are all physiological traits used to identify individuals. Behavioral traits used in biometric systems include voice pattern recognition, dynamic signature analysis, key-stroke pattern recognition

One way in which smartcards and biometrics have fused recently, is in the storage of a biometric template on card. When the card is used the template is passed to an external system and compared with a live biometric sample, captured using an external sensor. One problem with this scheme is that the ‘closeness of match’ is determined by the external device, in effect exposing the user’s data to someone else’s idea of security."

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General

Email security

September 3, 2003

Question

what is Email security ? How to send and receive secure E-mail ? explian issues?

mathy - India (401)

Answer

Email security concerns keeping out email that may infect your computer with a program that will cause problems.

Most Internet providers have virus checkers that prevent infected email from entering your computer. In addition, many people use virus protection software such as Norton Anti-virus to provide extra protection.

The third line of defense is to NEVER open an email attachment that you did not request. Some email viruses will get your name from a friend's computer that is infected and send you the bad attachment as if it was from your friend. Opening bad attachments is how most people get their computers infected.

There is also the issue of secure email, which is encrypted to prevent anyone from seeing the contents. There is special software to purchase for that. But it is usually only used by companies with secret business.

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Automobile

Alarmed car stolen

August 9, 2003

Question

my car was stolen, SAAB 93-'98 MODEL, the car was alarmed and the doors were locked. How was this possible as i was told this type of car could not be stolen without the key.

gavin - (155)

Answer

You would think that would be enough to prevent theft.

It might be possible for someone who knew what he was doing to use a Slim-Jim to open the door, then open the hood, disconnect the alarm and hot-wire the car to get it started. But that is unlikely.

More likely is that the person who stole the car had a key that would fit.

Some auto thieves have a ring of keys from a desired make. Then they just try them until they find one that fits. Odds of a duplicate key are surprisingly high.

Another possibility is that someone had made a duplicate of your key when you had your car serviced or you gave your key to someone like a parking valet.

If you have a car that is desirable, it is not a bad idea to add something else to discourage theft. Locking a "Club" on the steering wheel is a good added discouragement.

Hope you get your car back.

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