Sunday, May 09, 2010

Simple Security

Reader Scott sent me this photo of the pilot's lounge at the airstrip by the Wright Brothers Memorial in North Carolina. How do you open the door? There's often a hint to the code. Sometimes it's the local VOR or UNICOM frequency, but I usually leave the charts in the airplane so have to go back to look such things up. The emergency frequency or "alternate emergency frequency" works a lot of places, but this is a different solution. Admittedly it's not very secure, but the same can be said of many locks.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

Charming in it's simplicity, and probably works to keep non-pilots out. Or used to.

Now anyone can google it on their handheld or cortical implant..

CeridianMN said...

Security that is soley for "keeping honest people honest." Sometimes I feel the world needs a little mroe of that. People trying to do wrong often find a way regardless. Put just a hint of challange in it, enough of a barrier to make someone stop and think and it gives the honest people a chance to resist the initial temptation to do something they shouldn't. It also means people that are going to go through with it anyhow do not have to cause as much damage when they do.

Hmm, not usually one to do this, but the verification word is "guize," as if a dishonest person is pretendingto be honest...

Curt Sampson said...

Security is not about "being secure": security is about the tradeoffs you make between utility for the intended users and stopping the "bad guys."

In this case, you could make it a lot more secure by simply using a key lock on the door, and ensuring that there are no keys around. But that much security hurts more than it helps.

Here they appear to have struck a very good balance that gives pilots easy access to the lounge while still stopping many of the less motivated people who shouldn't have access.

It's not surprising it was done so well, either. Pilots tend to be very good at risk management.

Jim said...

From the post I infer that the lock is protecting the pilot's lounge - and for that purpose is probably quite secure enough.

Most of the Security Theatre these days is to protect the airside, which is not what this pushbutton lock does.

I sat in an airport once (Kentucky?) and drank my coffee and read a newspaper. Across the aisleway was the ultra-secret unmarked door to the operations centre for some airline, with the same style of pushbutton lock. Before my coffee was half gone, through long-distance shoulder-surfing, I knew the combination.

Oh dear, I probably just caused 750 TSA agents to jump on airplanes to visit every airport and survey every door, causing a compliance order to protect against shoulder-surfing and therefore protect random functional back rooms everywhere from someone lighting their bra on fire on blowing up a back room full of mounds of paper, deadly coffee and 468-era computers.

Jimmy said...

Locks only keep the honest people out anyway. My 'masterkey' (size 10 Doc Marten) would make short work of that or even a conventional deadbolt for that matter...

Sarah makes a good point though about the availability of formerly restricted knowledge (and the cortical implant part too lol). Something I hadn't considered previously.

Wayne Farmer said...

Reminds me of the message Tolkien placed at the Gates of Moria:

Speak, friend, and enter.

Aviatrix said...

Wayne, exactly. Simply security like that keeps the the orcs out.