Not So “Secure” Screws

From The Mind of Gabriel Shear

Thursday, April 24 2014


Not So Secure Screws



I’ve been working in the security industry for many years.

I have clients that to this day; still require, or call out for in specifications. The use of tamper-proof hardware on any equipment that’s publicly accessible.

I have, and will continue to argue. That this practice is at best a waste of resources, and at its worst gives a false sense of security.

What Is Tamper-Proof Hardware?

In the world of physical security, It’s common to use what is referred to as “tamper-proof” hardware. Normally these are used on locks, and other equipment as a deterrent to theft, vandalism, and/or tampering. There are a few different designs used to meet this aim. (torx, star, spanner, etc) Most designs are of common hardware with a modification so that a normal tool would not work with, or fit in to the tamper proof hardware. There are also designs that prevent the use of common objects, or makeshift tools from being used. (common in prisons).

The main premise of using such a design. Is that the availability of the special tools required to remove the hardware would be limited, so that only authorized users would have access to them.

In reality, this may have been the case many years ago, but that is not the case today. A quick search of the internet. Will provide you with plenty of online stores to purchase the required tools, and they can easily be purchased at a local electrical distributor. Recently I was not surprised to see that they are now, even being sold at Home Depot.


security driver

With these tools so widely available. The original purpose of tamper proof hardware is all but destroyed, and now does nothing, but present a false sense of security. Their only affects now, are possibly to slow down an attacker, or there use in correctional facilities. were access to tools would be non-existent.

Next time your out an about. Look to see if you can find any of these, and then think about how easy you could bypass these with a quick trip to the hardware store.

– Gabriel Shear