Thursday, February 4, 2010

Key lesson

Berni sent us the following story from Steyr in Upper Austria. On a visit at the University of Applied Sciences she found an accessible, locked room on one of the floors. The only drawback, somebody left the keys there. 

Now, the question is, how much value does access to this room have? 

First of all, you can steal paper, but that shouldn't leave too much damage to the company. Secondly, an intruder could wait for some important documents printed out. As this room is locked during the day, it could be an interesting place for getting information. Another source of information is the key itself. Even if an attacker can't get much value out of the information in the room, she could try to copy the key or just take notes about the cuts of the key. This can enable the attacker to duplicate it or use in combination with some other keys to rebuild the master key of the university's locks.

So the key lesson of this story: never leave your keys unattended - and never leave it on the doors. :) Thanks to Berni for sending in this story and the pictures. 

Update (7/2/2010): Churchy added another security issue that wasn't mentioned in the blog posting above. An attacker could use the printer's network cable to get access to the network. This could be interesting especially in situations where you just have access to a secured WLAN that is separated from the internal LAN.

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