Beware of the Snake Oil

So browsing through my FB feeds this morning I saw this “paid advertisement.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 7.15.30 AM

I all the sudden felt a recon red team exercise coming on. I go head and click on over to the website. There was a lot of snake oil in that page and as someone who understands this crap from a system’s perspective, any time you use wireless there are serious possibilities for remote vulnerabilities or exploits. So when I saw this line, my bull crap meter red lined.

Old wired technology. Traditional alarm companies want to put wires in your walls, because they know that ripping their wires out is hard and expensive.

On that above quote, let me tell you, removing wires is not that difficult. It’s called a pair of dykes, knife, spackle, and paint.  I can “remove” that wire in about 5 minutes for about 15 bucks. Actually I can remove every wire associated to any alarm system.  Hell if it’s actually dropped into an electrical box, just put a blank cover plate on it for like 10 cents.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept and give it two thumbs up from that stand point and for most burglars this will probably be fine, until someone makes an App that turns off, disables, or denies service to any SimpliSafe system. Given the sensors communicate wirelessly with a central base station, this seems not only possible, but very within the realm of possibility.

Further as it’s a wireless system said app can now tell me which homes have something inside that they feel the need to protect using a system that I am now capable of disabling.

As I said above, great concept but if one thing as an engineer has taught me, especially with some time in product development, I have never seen someone come in with an idea and really consider security and take it serious from the start. It’s always an afterthought and treated like a bug. Even more than that, wireless is often thrown around like a buzzword as if it’s somehow better just because.  There are serious benefits to wireless but like everything it’s a trade-off.

If I had extra time now I’d totally pick up a system to beat the crap out of. My advice, it’s probably better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick but eventually it will be the equivalent of painting an invisible radiating target on your house. For the most part you’re not protecting your house from people like me which is the one saving grace. That said, this will be a joke to any determined attacker for the reasons outlined above.

If they want to send me a system to evaluate, seriously not asking cause my time is precious right now, I’m more than happy to withdraw my basic observations above should they be proven wrong.

*Again I haven’t actually dug into said product, this is based on a review of their site literature and advertising. I am merely providing this as an educational service and food for thought. If you’re from SimpliSafe and feel epic butt-hurt from the above, contact me and we can chat about it.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day – Lyle (5/12/2014)

To say that gun restrictions fail to reduce crime is a bit like saying that rape and robbery “fail to advance love and charity”.

LyleComment to Quote of the day—Chris and Jeff Knox
May 11th, 2014


[The thing is, many would find this a humorous joke. I can’t laugh through because honestly he nailed it.

I did see something else interesting last night on the news.  A man was eager to get people who lost family in the Oso mudslide in front of state legislators to push for more logging regulations. He even stated while we don’t have the facts currently, we do have emotional support and hopefully that should be enough for emergency measures.

Excuse me?  I swear people would rather live in a world governed by emotion instead of reason and logic.  They’d rather live by their feelings and intuition even if all facts, logic, and reason proved those things to be false.

Where did everyone go and how the hell can I get off the crazy train? -B]

 

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Citizens take law into own hands

Not only did the Sheriff’s Office narrow its scope to “life-threatening” situations, but it even encouraged people who felt unsafe to relocate. “… the Sheriff’s Office regretfully advises that, if you know you are in a potentially volatile situation (for example, you are a protected person in a restraining order that you believe the respondent may violate), you may want to consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services,” the original release stated.

Selig’s community watch group, looking to fill in the law enforcement cracks, now meets once a month to discuss crime and teach its approximately 100 members about personal safety. The group also has a trained “response team,” which consists of 12 people who will respond to the scene of a reported non-life-threatening situation if called.

I’ll summarize the full details real quick for everyone.  A county in Oregon lost a federal grant for timber that was a large source of revenue for them.  The county attempted to pass a tax levy to make up the difference, but it was voted down.  Because of this, they cut law enforcement back because that’s the obvious area to reduce funding. *SMH* One of the officers who was forced to retire early because of this mess decides to create a neighborhood watch group that is basically performing some of the duties of law enforcement mainly focused around property crime.  They’re not handing out tickets or arresting anyone, at least from what the article said.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.  There are obviously legal ramifications here.  There are liability issues and then the question of what they do when they are in a situation where they should arrest a person.  So far it seems like everything they’ve been involved in has been pretty harmless, but I’m sure that won’t last forever.  While I don’t agree with the scope of law enforcement at times, I also don’t want to trivialize their job and make it sound like anyone can do it.  Since it’s a prior officer that’s running this thing, I’m hoping that there is some good quality training going on and that the people doing this are prior MIL/LEO.

Some of the citizens are saying that the local government is cutting law enforcement to basically force their hand and get them to approve the levy.  I haven’t seen their budget, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this was the case.  Regardless of whether or not there is enough money, I’m impressed with the citizens’ willingness to step up and get the job done.  While law enforcement isn’t the first place I would think that we should have citizens stepping up to fill the gap, I am glad to see them doing what needs to be done, and I’m really hoping they do it right since this is the type of thing that can set a precedent going forward.

~John

SSCC #566: Kern County

The victim reported that two deputies went to her home in the Tehachapi area at about 11:00 p.m., to investigate a burglary involving a man who was at her home. 

While speaking to deputies in her home she was handcuffed and led into a room by one of the deputies to be searched.  While being searched she was sexually assaulted by the deputy, according to reports.

Violated not once but twice.  First by the criminal who stole her property and then by the agent of the state sent there to investigate the crime.  This isn’t the first time something like this has happened either.

Not only that but he returned and assaulted her again.

State Sponsored Criminal #566: Gabriel Lopez

Because when a woman reports a crime you can just commit one against her yourself right?

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day – Robb Allen (3/14/2013)

These are the people who consider themselves more enlightened than you or I and who think they have what it takes to rule your life. It’s like watching a retarded kid scream about how your tying your shoelaces wrong and then gets confused over the Velcro straps holding his sandals on his hands.

Robb AllenIgnorance can be deadly
March 14th, 2013


[And it isn’t just one or two people who seem to think like the person who wrote the provoking tweet either.  Look at this recent tweet that came across twitter.

Don’t worry I responded as my snarky self.

After which he couldn’t take it and promptly banned me.  Not unexpected given their prevalence for reasoned discourse.

Honestly I think Robb nailed our opponents with that analogy. -B]

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day – Joe Biden (2/28/2013)

I said, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” Most people can handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semiautomatic weapon in terms of both their aim and in terms of their ability to deter people coming.

Joe Biden – Field and Stream Interview

February 25th, 2013


 

[I don’t know how many times I need to say it, but seriously folks do not take any of the advice this man is offering.  He obviously does not know what he’s talking about and does not have the slightest clue when it comes to the laws around self-defense.

All I have to say is yeah Joe, and then you find out it was your kid running up to the door afraid of the same noise you heard.  How many different times can you give a rule 4 violation as good advice?  Seriously, WTF Joe? -B]

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day – RobertaX (2/25/2013)

Defending yourself is not a matter of “punishment.”  You’re not out to correct your assailant’s behavior, you’re wanting to stop it, as quickly and effectively as possible, with the least collateral damage.  Whatever does that is what you should do.

RobertaXPizza Robber Update
February 25, 2013


[I’ve never quite understood the method of thinking that ties self-defense into punishment.  Can I not kill someone until after they’ve killed me?  Is that the new standard now?  When it comes to rape then, can a woman only rape her assailant back after she’s been violated?  Why is she not allowed to stop the threat.  Yes some times stopping the threat does involve the assailant’s body reaching room temperature but that’s the risk of their profession.

You know how the assailant would still be alive?  By not attacking his intended victim.  Why is this so hard for some people to understand?

In the words of Malcolm Reynolds:

“I didn’t kill him, he killed himself. I just carried the bullet for a while.”

The criminal made his choice and in the middle of the crime the victim can, and should, do all that he can to protect himself and family.  Someone is threatening force against them and they are not and should not be required to be mind readers to determine if the threat is real or just words.  If you use something that looks like a gun in a threatening manner, it’s a gun, and I will not fault the individual who defends himself from you.

The criminal takes a risk that someone might defend himself, and if the criminal continues to fight even when presented with force being applied back from the victim,  the onus for the outcome lies squarely with the aggressor.  Stop blaming victims for the outcome of actions and choices made by criminals. -B]

 

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

A Lesson About Safe Storage Devices

So I have seen this before but I figure it’s a nice refresher.

Note the results, still think those little boxes you see will keep your property safe?  Especially those quick access boxes some end up buying when they’re stuck in one of those states lacking in freedom and pushing tyranny.  Still think the arguments are really about your safety or preventing theft?

If you think curious kids can’t figure out how to pick a lock, you obviously never saw me as a child.  I figured out how to pick locks at first just with paper clips.  Making my own tension fork and rake to pop simple locks.  Eventually I got my hands on a real set.  Yeah, beyond a real safe and educating your children, you’re not going to do much other than increase curiosity.

So consider this a public service announcement and a warning.  If you’re using any of these items, be damn sure of their capabilities and weaknesses.  In so doing, be sure to use them in a manner consistent with their abilities.  I happen to fully agree with the presenters final conclusions.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.