How To Think Like A Spy

From The Mind of Gabriel Shear

Saturday, January 16, 2016

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Mind

How To Think Like A Spy

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

– Sherlock Holmes

– The Hound of the Baskervilles

You see it in the movies… On TV. You read it in the books. Spies, Secret Agents, Special Forces. Men that remain calm, cool and collected even during the most dangerous moments. They seem so in control of the situation. One step ahead of everyone else. Resourceful, smart and strong. Almost as if they can see whats going to happen before it does and so are able to predict and act. Not react. This man, this idea is not totally in the realm of imagination. There is a large grain of truth to these representations. This is a desirable state of mind for anyone to be in. So we ponder in amazement at such skill and intelligence, wondering if we too can be like that guy.

We can…

Nature has honed your instinctual survival skills over thousands of years. Your gut feelings, the hair standing on the back of your neck, instantaneous reactions to spiders or snakes(or anything that looks like them). These things go to show that your animal mind does one thing, and it does it well.  KEEP YOU ALIVE!

To understand how you can use this primitive mind to allow you to perform almost superhuman feats of memory, reaction and recognition. You must first realize one thing. That one thing is the fact that you have two minds. Now, no I don’t mean that you have split personalities… well, at least most of us don’t. No no, what I mean is that you have two parts to your mind. The conscious mind and the sub-conscious mind. To start, the conscious mind is what you’re using to read this, it’s the advanced part of your brain. The part that makes you “intelligent”. This part of the mind is indivisible. That is to say, it cannot think of two or more things at once. Magicians, con-artists and pickpockets make use of this very fact by using miss-direction. They draw your attention away from what they are really doing so that you won’t notice. Because you can’t focus your attention on more than one thing at a time, you don’t notice what else they’re doing. The conscious mind is not very good at keeping track of multiple things and hence can’t be relied upon to notice every little detail or hint of danger.

For that function we go back to the more primitive sub-conscious. This older part is very, very, good at noticing details and catching little things the conscious mind would miss. That’s because it records everything. Everything you’ve ever seen is stored in your mind. Although most people are unable to recall these memories. Some children with Eidetic memory (photo graphic memory) are able to recall these memories. For most though, the conscious mind is limited in this ability. Very tragic or scary events in one’s life are usually the exception. Most are able to recall very vivid details of an event that had a traumatic or scary effect on them. The sub-conscious is always watching, listening, smelling, feeling and tasting. It doesn’t have emotion. It doesn’t understand lies, sarcasm or jokes. It’s always on, even when you sleep. If you’re having a hard time understanding this, then just think of a dog.

Now the way the sub-conscious mind works with the conscious mind, is through what I would describe as interrupts. Using the analogy of a computer program. You have your main program running. This would be equivalent to your conscious mind. It runs normally doing the things you would normally do. Then you have interrupt routines. These are special programs that are activated when some input is triggered. They run only when an interrupt is received and once done, the main program takes back over. For example your moving some boxes into the garage. This action would be your main program running. Suddenly your sub-conscious detect what it infers to be a spider on your arm. This would be the input that triggers the interrupt routine.  You stop what you’re doing and immediately swipe it off your arm without even “thinking”. This would be the interrupt routine running while your main program is stopped. You then collect yourself and continue on. Your main program is now back to running.

After reading the above. You should notice a few things. Number one being, that you didn’t really have control when your sub-conscious acted and number two. It took a special input to trigger it. In this case the spider on your body. This is the key to using your sub-conscious mind. Learning to use inputs to trigger specific reactions. People gain and lose these reactions through out there lives and so it is possible to program them into your sub-conscious with a little work.

The main way sub-conscious programming is done is through the  Input+Emotion+Repetition  cycle.  This works well enough for subliminal advertising and getting rid of fears. It is however limited though, in that you can only program one thing at a time. There is another way that I personally use that has been very effective. This method creates more of a connection between your two minds. Giving you the ability to apply your “thinking” mind with your “reacting” mind.  It’s not terribly difficult to do. Although it can get mentally exhausting at first but soon becomes like second nature and like all things, if you don’t continue to do it you will slowly lose it.

So whats this big SECRET!

Why nothing really. You just have to force your two minds to work at the same time by simply observing things around you and then saying out loud what they are. There, that is all there is too it. Observe and speak. The observation activates your conscious mind and speaking it aloud binds it to your sub-conscious. You must say what it is you’re looking at out loud or it doesn’t work. The more boring the details, the better. Since walking around saying what you’re looking at would quickly get you stares and probably a trip to the mental health department. I prefer to do it while I’m driving. Reading license plates and details about the cars, road signs and the people in them will quickly start to cement the ability to notice these details without thinking about it.

For example: saying aloud Gray Honda Accord license plate 4JL3401 Toyo tires black dice in window male with black hair gold loop earring etc… As you drive by it. The smaller the details the better. Things like dents or bumper stickers. All these work. You just have to say them out loud.

As Sherlock Holmes said in the quote at the beginning “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” with a little practice you will observe them. Using your sub-conscious to do it for you while giving your conscious mind access to this information, things will quickly become obvious to you and since all things are the result of the reactions of all other things you will be able to predict what is going to happen next just by observing the obvious.

– Gabriel Shear

Life Safety (Friend or Enemy?)

From the mind of Gabriel Shear

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

 

 

 

 

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do not block nursing home fire exit

Life Safety, Friend or Enemy?

 

The Good

Every day we go on about our way, moving in and out of buildings that serve a multitude of purposes. Very few ever take the time to look at these buildings. How they’re constructed, what they have in them, what they have in common (what they don’t).

Looking around though you will begin notice certain things that exist in almost every modern building. Things like fire sprinklers and exit signs above doors, emergency lighting, fire alarm pull stations and much more. The reason they have these things is due to the fact that almost every modern country on earth has some sort of life safety code.

These codes are created to make sure that buildings don’t become death traps for the people who use them. Things like fires are usually the first thing to come to mind. Now prior to modern life safety codes, a fire within a building could (and did in a lot of cases) mean the death of people trapped inside. Now with sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers within reasonable distances along with lighted exits, a fire in a building is usually not long-lasting and people can find their way out safely.

You might be asking then how can something that save lives and protect people and property possibly anything but good?

Well to begin, central to life safety is the idea of free egress. This basically means that you can’t keep people from leaving the building under any circumstances. Very few places are exempt from this rule, mainly prisons and jails (for obvious reasons).

Making sure people have the ability to freely exit a building under any circumstance means a few different things. First, all the doors must open outward. This feature along with the use of panic door hardware also know as “crash bars” makes sure that in a panic people won’t be crushed against doors that they couldn’t open as others behind them blindly pushed forward trying to escape. This feature has to work even when there is no electrical power. So these systems are mechanical.

In places that use automatic sliding glass doors this becomes a problem when there is no power. Most people don’t know that the sliding doors will actually pop open if pushed from the inside. Once again this is so people aren’t crushed against them during a panicked rush for the exits.

The second reason is life safety also overrides building security.  Even if a door is locked from the outside it must open from the inside regardless of who is opening it.  Keyed locks must freely open from the inside to go out towards the exit(s) of the building. In electronic security, use of electronic locks must not prohibit free egress. This means magnetic locks must open when the fire alarm is triggered as well as provide free egress during normal use. Usually code require a minimum of two ways to unlock the door. Normally a passive infra-red motion detector is used to accomplish normal egress unlocking,  along with a backup exit button that physically breaks power to magnetic lock in case of failure of the motion detector.

 

The Bad

You might be beginning to see how this idea of life safety might be used by someone to get into an area that normally would be secured. By manipulating mechanisms normally designed to protect people. Entry into secured areas is possible.  Magnetic locks are very susceptible to these kinds of attacks because at their core they require power to remain secured and are easily unlocked by removing that power. Another common attack vector is the request to exit sensor. This device’s  purpose, is to notify the access control system that a person is exiting the door from the non secured side and to ignore any alarm set off by the door opening without a valid credential. Sometimes they are set to unlock the lock if triggered. The majority of these sensors are passive infrared motion detectors and can easily be fooled by objects waved in front of it through gaps around the door. Particularly the gap at the bottom of the door.

Magnetic-Door-LockRequest-To-Exit-PIR-Sensors

If a person(s) wasn’t particularly concerned with being seen. Such as a heist during business hours. Then setting off the fire alarm system. Either through a fire alarm pull-station or by causing water flow through the sprinkler system. Is an effective way to bypass many alarms and other locked access points. This would be most effective in large buildings with many people. Such as hospitals or large corporate high rises and condo units. Places like these have to be concerned with moving large numbers of people out of the building quickly,so many systems are set up to do just that.

 

There are many more ways in which life safety systems could be used to access secured areas. I will be covering those listed above and more in greater detail in future posts. As well as methods to counter some of the issues shown. For now take a look around next time you enter a building, and think about ways that life safety might be compromising your security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Bypass Sliding Gate Security

From the mind of Gabriel Shear

Saturday October 24, 2015

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How To Bypass  Sliding  Gate Security

 

 

This information is provided for educational purposes only. The author nor the website are responsible for misuse of information provided below.

 

I’m going to outline a pretty simple and effective method for bypassing the security code/card locks on about 90% of all sliding security gates.

This method relies on understanding how sliding gates works and how to use this knowledge to your benefit, if ever the need may arise.

 

A sliding gate typically consists of a few different parts:

  • Gate
  • Gate drive
  • Motor
  • Motor controller
  • Limit sensors
  • Safety sensors
  • vehicle sensors
  • Entry keypad or proximity card reader

Most gates you will see are typically chain driven and use a large roller chain and sprocket to transmit the motors rotational force into a linear one to move the gate back and forth. The other style is the direct drive. Usually only seen on high security gates, it consists of a large flat bar attached to the gate which itself is pinched between two rubber drive rollers that spin and move the bar forwards and back, opening and closing the gate.

Here are the styles:

Chain Drive Gate

Low Security Chain Drive Gate

High Security Gate

High Security Direct Drive Gate

 

Beyond the gate and motor itself, the system needs a way to control:

  • When the gate should open and close
  • How far it needs to open and close
  • When to stop (so as not to crush anyone or thing)

To achieve the above needs, a motor controller is used with an array of sensors that help it to determine when to turn on the motor and in what direction.

Typical sensors include:

Limit switches – They tell the controller when the gate has reached its fully open or closed position.

Safety sensors – Such as crush strips on the edge of the gate, so that if it hits a car or person it can stop the motor to prevent injury or damage.

Vehicle sensors – Inductive loops placed in the ground can tell the system when a vehicle is on either side of the gate or even in the gates path.

Access control – Entrance keypads or proximity card readers. Either integrated in to the controller or part of a larger building system. They allow authorized opening of the gate.

All these sensors work in conjunction with the motor controller to determine the state of the system and along with some programming what it should do an any give scenario. It is the vehicle sensors that we are going to be attacking in order to open the gate.

While a user is required to provide some sort of security credential to the system in order to operate the gate. On about 90 percent of gates  a vehicle that is leaving is usually sensed by a vehicle detection loop and the gate is automatically opened so the vehicle may leave.Vehicle Loop

This vehicle detection loop consists of a  loop of wire embedded in the ground in the path of vehicle. I works through the principle of electromagnetic induction. An explanation of how this works is that an alternating electrical current is passed through the loop. At a given frequency the loop will have a specific inductance. This inductance resists the flow of electrical current and is compared against a known value in the controller. When a metal object such as a vehicle drives over the loop. The metal acts like the metal core of a transformer and increases eddy currents do to the inductance of the loop. The increases in eddy currents are then seen by the controller and used to tell the system to open the gate.

The thing is that anything that increases the inductance of the loop will fool the system into believing a vehicle is there. any metal will increase the inductance and fool the system.

The way to bypass the security of the gate would be to slide or throw a large piece of metal over the loop. They are easy to spot as they are usually visible as cuts in the concrete/black top (as shown above). The corners of the loop are more sensitive than the center or edges. Most gates have a rather large gap underneath to slide something like a tire iron or piece of sheet metal or a length of chain. Hell one could even break the pedestal holding the keypad and use that if one was desperate enough. In either case, if the metal piece is large enough it will trigger the gate to open and the gate security has just been bypassed.

Not all gates open using vehicle detection loops, but most do and like I’ve said this should work on about 90% of gates you might encounter. I hope this information is informative and enlightening.

 

-Gabriel Shear