Lock that mother down!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Zedric, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    I thought about putting this in the Security forum, but this isn't a software issue so it felt wrong.

    I do some work for a forklift manufacturer outside town managing their computers and network. This morning the boss called and told me that thay had had a breaking and entering during the night. Someone had stolen the two newest computers they use for CAD drawing their components, along with all the drawings. Luckily there are backups, but I don't know how recent.

    So now they have to get new machines. I thought it might be a good idea to get som anti-theft equipment as well. Question is what to go for? The new machines are most likely Fujitsu-Siemens machines and they support Kensington locks. So would this be a good idea, and which type of Kensington lock would you suggest. How intrusive are the locks? Can they be removed without leaving holes?

    The alternative would be to use case cages that are screwed into the desk. They are non-intrusive, but can get in the way of ports and drives.

    Any ideas what to suggest to the boss? It might be a good idea to use the same solution for the other computers as well, but they don't have any special Kensington support afaik. We're talking roughly 12 computers and possibly the screens, most of them TFT.

    Also, on a side note. The same model as they had before (The F-S Celsius M420) now only comes with a non-HT processor in the same configuration according to the reseller. I think this is very strange, are there even non-HT processors left? This is a 3.2 GHz P4. The model of the M420 with less memory and different graphics has HT though. The stolen machine also had HT. Is the reseller just wrong?
     
  2. Mainframeguy

    Mainframeguy Debiant by way of Ubuntu Folding Team

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    Mod (any mod) - I think he meant loCk that Mother down - might be helpful to him if title of thread is corrected.

    So Far as Kensington locks go they are fine and usually designed for Laptops largely, the only problem is that the cable they can carry which is used to secure them will certainly be vulnerable to bolt cutters, so it depends whether you are guarding against casual/opportunist theft or an organised one (which is what this sounds like).

    I'm really not sure what you can do about more organised theft, you need to keep your security there at the building or room level, you could try uising some sort of security bolting of screens and cases to furniture - but IMO this is seriously going to screw up your ergonomics!
     
  3. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    DOH! Thanks, I totally missed that typo. The current title does sound rather strange... :D

    Yes, I suppose they won't have any problem getting bolt cutters next time... Even if those cables are supposed to be very hard to cut.

    The problem with building level security is that it's an old building with only motion detection alarm, which they apparently just ignored. There are plans for renovation, so I guess no new security will be installed until then.

    So an enclosure then, something like this? http://www.inwarehouse.se/pb.asp?src=3&sku=e356689
    Sorry the page is in Swedish, I had trouble finding anything similar elsewhere and the manufacturer site is down at the mo.
     
  4. Mainframeguy

    Mainframeguy Debiant by way of Ubuntu Folding Team

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    HMMmmmmm I guess that will work - there's a third way with some lateral thinking that would need a bit of infrastructure change and further investigation, but I think is techincially possible.

    This would be to move the high spec. machines off-site and have a T3 os similar line to them, keeping "think client" machines and perhaps a server in a cage like that on site.

    Then I believe there is software/kit that would enable you to connect and operate with those machines offsite just as if they were present. I am just mentioning it as a thought because you were looking for possible solutions - not sure of practicalities or costings, it could be this is just too much of an overhead....
     
  5. Maveric169

    Maveric169 The Voices Talk to Me

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    Might be easier to just setup a simple server in a server cage onsite, with "dummy terminals" for access to the CAD programs. This way you only need to safeguard 1 $$$ computer, instead of 12. Server cages can be pretty robust and can be bolted to the floor.

    If that is not an option you might try and see if there are similar setups for pc towers, and just bolt the sucker right to the floor.

    But at the end of the day if a theif wants it bad enough, they will get it. Personally I would recomend they beef up the building security. Even if it is something as simple as a barometric pressure sensor rigged to a phone dialer that just dials 911. (Did that for my cousin about 8 years ago, and it worked).

    But really if you don't secure the building no measure of security will help as the thiefs will have all the time in the world to work on it.
     
  6. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    Sorry, that won't be possible. Most of the juice is needed just to rotate the 3D cad models, so you'd still need a beefy cpu and graphics card in the thin client. Plus loading times is a big issue, we have to keep the drawings local on one of the machines and connect the other machine via gigabit (the rest of the network is 100 Mbit) to get the loading times acceptabel (around 70 seconds for a complete forklift on the local machine, about 100 on the other). The drawings used to be on the main server, but that was way too slow.

    It's only the two stolen machines that are used for CAD. The others are slower machines (most of them acctually previous cad machines "pushed down the line" when the cad machines were upgraded).

    I guess the cage looks like the best idea so far. As long as they can't get to the machine without bringing a power saw or destroying the case (as with cable locks) getting it out of there I think it will be sufficient.
     
  7. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Thread title corrected [​IMG]
     
  8. Henyman

    Henyman Secret Goat Fetish Political User

    i think a "cage" is by far the best way. but a big one, rather than individual pc, as these can still be cut/unscrewed really easy :eek: the best way to do it ( + cheapest) is make sure they are in a section of the room with no windows/doors for people to get in, with only the one aproach. then wiremesh the lot of it + have a door with a decent lock ;)

    along the lines off:

    [​IMG]

    but obviously with pc's, rather than a rack in there :s can be left open during the day, but locked + made very secure @ night, it can even have a seperate alarm combined with a motion detector at very little cost :d
     
  9. Steevo

    Steevo Spammer representing. Political User Folding Team

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    Hire a redneck to sit outside in his pinto with a shotgun.
     
  10. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    Yeah that would be effective, but I somehow doubt that they'd go for that even if it were possible to fit in the room, which there most likely isn't. I know they use case enclosures and wire locks at the university, and they have had very little problem with thefts. I suppose the electronic alarms connected to each computer helps as well... That would be an idea too.
     
  11. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    That's work too. :D But around here it would probably be an old Volvo 240 and not a pinto. ;)
     
  12. GoNz0

    GoNz0 NTFS Stoner

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    get 1 of the engineers to screw a bolt through the bottom of the case. they got to take the table if he uses sheer bolts ;)
     
    Henyman likes this.
  13. Henyman

    Henyman Secret Goat Fetish Political User



    very good idea, much better than a cage per pc. bolt the case to the table, or even just screw it. anyone will have hell of a job prising it off without taking case apart :cool:
     
  14. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    True... The cases sit on the floor, but I think they could build something (extremely) sturdy to bolt the cases to. The forklifts are mostly built from 10 mm steel plates anyway... ;) I'd like to see a thief cut that!

    And just making the cases 10x heavier might be enough so it's still possible to move them and maintain them, just not carry them away...
     
  15. Maveric169

    Maveric169 The Voices Talk to Me

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    Again, I will still say that any security setup you come up with for the indivdual pc will be pretty useless if they want it. the best thing you can do is to make it as difficult and time consuming as possible. If they have free, unrestricted access to the pc's, they have all the time in the world to take the pc's apart. The best thing you could hope for is that it will be more trouble than it is worth for them to try and steal it. So bolt the cases to the floor, and put them in their own cages and pray.

    Cause unless you can restrict access to them (ie: building security) nothing else will really matter.
     
  16. dave holbon

    dave holbon Moderator

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    Some years ago here in the UK, British Telecom had a large amount of their PC’s memory modules stolen from a top security building with 24/7/360 on site security guards in place. This was when memory prices jumped briefly to exorbitant levels. The building also had state of the art (at the time) building security installed. It did not stop the thieves from spending just about all night removing the modules from the PC’s/servers even though they were bolted to the floor/walls etc. Once the software is removed from a PC what’s left is just about as untraceable as it is possible to get.

    Today of course PC hardware is almost a throw away item but software is not. Professional thieves just don’t steal PC’s anymore (laptops are of course the exception) but thy do steal software, especially CAD projects which can be worth millions. I don’t think it’s feasible to think in terms of protecting PC’s as if someone can get into the building by whatever means if they see a PC (an amateur for instance) will probably remove it if they have the time and the transportation. That’s why I always suggest backing up off-site daily via a data link (incremental) as if a PC is stolen its only going to cost a few bob to replace, but development software is irreplaceable so design your security around the idea that you just don’t care if the PC’s are stolen. AT the end of the day they are only scrap metal and silicone.

    :) :)
     
  17. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    It turns out that time is a big issue in this case. After the alarm was triggered it took three minutes before the first person arrived at the scene (the neighbour, an elderly man, so not the best crime fighter I guess). The perps were allready gone. I could hardly get the computers out from under the desk in that time....

    So what we've done is they made some trays that bolts to the desk frame (which is steel) so the case can't be removed without loosing the bolts and lowering the tray. They bolt heads are filled with silicon so we can still get the cases down, it will just take time. Hopefully this will be enough, now we just need to chain the TFT screens to the table as well...

    It's not perfect, but hopefully it's "good enough".
     
  18. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    The concept behind theft prevention is to make it easier for the thief to steal your neighbors stuff. Your added protection should achieve that.

    On the other hand...

    WARN your client that for pro's it is common practice to steal some older equipment and then go back in and steal the shiny new replacements too.

    Add a video surveillance system too (fake is even ok if cost is an issue).
     
  19. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    Heh, yeah, the problem is there is no "useful" neighbour for this as the factory is on the countryside.

    They've realised this themselves acctually. We locked the computers into a special room while I was working on them before we could attach them to the desks. They've also added flood lights outside that turn on if the alarm is triggered.

    But I don't think these guys were pro, they left some crucial equipment (like a special cable for the graphics card without which you can't connect a screen to it). But then again, they were in a hurry.
     
  20. GoNz0

    GoNz0 NTFS Stoner

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    see if the stuffs on ebay ;)