Electronic Safe observation

This is a discussion on Electronic Safe observation within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Last night I was watching one of these shows on Court TV called Tiger Team. In this show they are hired to attempt to defeat ...

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Thread: Electronic Safe observation

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Electronic Safe observation

    Last night I was watching one of these shows on Court TV called Tiger Team. In this show they are hired to attempt to defeat various security systems by the company's that own them to test out there system and to then make improvements

    In this episode they were attempting to break into a Diamond Jewelry maker.

    The interesting part here as it pertains to us was the method they used to get into the safe once they got past all the other security. It was your typical Safe with the Electronic Keypad just like a Gun safe. The round keypad with digital display.

    What they did was they dusted the thing for prints. And this allowed them to determine which of the numbers were repeatedly depressed. So they could then narrow it down to the four (or whatever) numbers that they knew the combination must consist of. Of course then they had to methodically try all combinations of those.

    The safe was, as typical, set to lock up for 15 minutes after four attempts with wrong numbers. So this they could wait out, unless they got lucky.

    But while they waited they simply looked up personal information and looked for those four numbers. Which they quickly discovered that the guys Daughters birthday consisted of. So they tried that and presto... they are in.

    So this brings up a couple things to be aware of. The choice of Combination number for one. And the ease at which people can also get your Birthday, Anniversary, kids Birthday... etc. And why not to use those for combinations.

    Also brings up one more weakness of Electronic Keypads. The ability to narrow it down to the numbers by keypad wear and use.

    Just thought I should mention it. The guys on the Tiger Team recommended traditional Dial locks and even double Dial Locks.

    However I think you can make your E Lock safer of you know these tricks.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    Last night I was watching one of these shows on Court TV called Tiger Team. In this show they are hired to attempt to defeat various security systems by the company's that own them to test out there system and to then make improvements

    In this episode they were attempting to break into a Diamond Jewelry maker.

    The interesting part here as it pertains to us was the method they used to get into the safe once they got past all the other security. It was your typical Safe with the Electronic Keypad just like a Gun safe. The round keypad with digital display.

    What they did was they dusted the thing for prints. And this allowed them to determine which of the numbers were repeatedly depressed. So they could then narrow it down to the four (or whatever) numbers that they knew the combination must consist of. Of course then they had to methodically try all combinations of those.

    The safe was, as typical, set to lock up for 15 minutes after four attempts with wrong numbers. So this they could wait out, unless they got lucky.

    But while they waited they simply looked up personal information and looked for those four numbers. Which they quickly discovered that the guys Daughters birthday consisted of. So they tried that and presto... they are in.

    So this brings up a couple things to be aware of. The choice of Combination number for one. And the ease at which people can also get your Birthday, Anniversary, kids Birthday... etc. And why not to use those for combinations.

    Also brings up one more weakness of Electronic Keypads. The ability to narrow it down to the numbers by keypad wear and use.

    Just thought I should mention it. The guys on the Tiger Team recommended traditional Dial locks and even double Dial Locks.

    However I think you can make your E Lock safer of you know these tricks.
    Don't most of these "elock" systems have key'd pins for traditional key method in case the electronics fail? I seem to remember seeing a few of those. It's another fail point.

    In reality all a good lock is going to do is stop those not hell bent and not having the means necessary to get in anyway. Those who know what they're doing ...no lock is going to stop. Believe it or not there are pretty detailed plans on defeat and disassembly of most locking mechanisms out on the web. I know because I even managed to find one for an old canon safe here at work that they forgot the combo to. It took me 2 days playing with it off and on but I eventually got it.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    packin has it right. I look at my safe as a way to stop someone who is just looking to smash and grab whatever they can get their hands on. I don't have anything of such great value that a sophisticated thief would target me. It just isn't worth their time.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    It does make a good point about the keypads though. If I remember right some HS kids were doing that with pencil lead on the keypads for garage doors here in NoVA around 7 or 8 years ago. So I suppose it would behoove you to punch in the wrong numbers every now and then.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Not too worry too much. Just figured it was a good thing to think about so you can take some simple little counter measures if you want too. It was something I had never even thought about.

    And so now you know, that someone has thought of it and put it on TV so that any simple Crook can also know about it! Heh... well... so why not make sure your aware of it.

    Nothing is crook proof if they want it bad enough. Just might slow down or stop a stupid crook that just happens to watches TV is all.

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    cphilip - thanks. Yet another task to add to my OCD list of to-dos. Now when I use my electronic safes, I will have to randomly hit other numbers.

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    You could always just wipe off the keypad. Your skin oil is what allows print dust to work. Use a combination that has nothing to do with you or any of your family. If you need to write it down do it as a phone number in your address book or write it on a business card of someone, like they added their cell number for you.

    I'm more worried about a thief getting info for identity theft than getting into my gun safes. If they had access to enough info on me to get birthdays and such my identity or that of my family is compromised. In a residential burglary situation that info is more valuable than anything they can take from my place.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

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    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    My electronic lock allows you to input whatever combo you want up to 16. I use a combo of 9 numbers/characters that would be practically impossible to crack. It does have a hidden key backup though. The numbers I use are easily remembered by me, but not birthdays/years, socials, etc.

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    Member Array doobie's Avatar
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    I use a GunVault. They have 4 buttons. You can press as many of them at a time. You need 4-16(I think) presses. I use all 4 buttons, and each of them are pressed at least three times. No finger printing there. I believe it also has a lock out if you enter the password incorrect 4 times....luckily there is also a key back-up which I keep near when my gun is locked up.

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
    My electronic lock allows you to input whatever combo you want up to 16. I use a combo of 9 numbers/characters that would be practically impossible to crack. It does have a hidden key backup though. The numbers I use are easily remembered by me, but not birthdays/years, socials, etc.
    Keyword there...
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    Member Array American Pit Bull's Avatar
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    95% of the retail gun safes on the market can be cut into with a $40 angle grinder in under 5 minutes.

    As the others have stated... Our gun safes are to keep the novice buglers and kids out of the safe.

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    Our local locksmith loves the electronic gun safes. He makes quite a bit of money getting them open for people when something goes wrong. I've had a Browning/Prosteel safe since 1983 with a S&G dial and it's still working great. When I purchased my other vault I made sure I got the same S&G lock. As for the angle grinder comment, I just don't think so. I've got several different types of angle grinders and when I look at the amount of pins locking my vaults I just cannot believe that someone could get in them in 5 minutes. I've never seen it done and the two locksmiths that I've been friends with disagree with the comment. One can manipulate a dial combo but it will take at least 45 minutes to an hour. The other drils the back and goes in with a fiber optic device. Both are time consuming and the crook that can get in a vault is not going to waste his time on a homeowners safe unless he knows their safe is full of something more expensive then your typical guns.
    Life member NRA since 1983
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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Electronic locks on safes are really made to keep the kids out. Kind of like electronic garage door openers. Basically worthless to anyone with any smarts.
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    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Keyword there...
    I'd like to see how long it takes someone to crack a 16-digit code the hard way! Esp. with the 15-minute lockouts every 4th try or so. I'm guessing weeks!

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    One of my safes requires seven presses (numbers and symbols)...you're not getting in quickly...
    It's a Browning safe...well made...and heavy.

    Stay armed...stay safe!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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