A very clever hack

| 1 Comment
A simple spray to deter robbers. UV fluorescent dye with artificial DNA. Each sprayer has a different DNA 'serial number' and they are mounted over the door so you get hit when you leave. From the New York Times:
A Spray of DNA to Keep the Robbers Away
When the McDonald�s down from City Hall here was burglarized a few years ago, its managers decided they needed a new security system.

It was just about that time that local police officers were offering something totally different that they hoped would stem a rising tide of robberies that occur mainly in the immigrant neighborhoods of this rough-and-tumble port city. The new system involved an employee-activated device that sprays a fine, barely visible mist laced with synthetic DNA to cover anyone in its path, including criminals, and simultaneously alerts the police to a crime in progress.

The mist � visible only under ultraviolet light � carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling the police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald�s prominently warns potential thieves of the spray�s presence: �You Steal, You�re Marked.�

The police acknowledge that they have yet to make an arrest based on the DNA mist, which was developed in Britain by two brothers, one a policeman and the other a chemist. But they credit its presence � and signs posted prominently warning of its use � for what they call a precipitous decline in crime rates (though they could not provide actual figures to back that up).

But the goal is not so much capturing crooks as scaring them away. �The whole thing is prevention, not about recovering stolen goods or capturing criminals,� said Donald van der Laan, whose company, the Rhine Group, distributes the spray. As far as the DNA is concerned, �the material is identical� to human DNA, he said, �though there is a different sequence of components.� Much of the spray�s effectiveness, he said, comes from the mystique surrounding DNA.

�No one really knows what it is,� he said. �No one really knows how it works.�
I love the: �No one really knows how it works.� Security through Obscurity is a very powerful tool. On the computer side of things, you know the tools the hackers will be using and if you leave no 'hooks' for them (or leave counterfeit hooks leading to a honeypot) you can have a lot of fun...

1 Comment

Yeah, and of course the criminals just plain aren't smart enough to do something like oh, I don't know, wear a sheet over their head while robbing, or something.

Reminds me;
Back when I was an engineer at a fire alarm company we had a file full of ridiculous ideas for preventing people from pulling false alarms.

Like a handcuff that immobilizes one in place until the fire Marshall comes along with the key. Really useful inside a genuinely burning building, I don't think. My contribution: an automated guillotine chops the offending hand off, and drops it into a bucket of liquid nitrogen. If it's a real fire you get your hand back.

May 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
Jennifer Marohasy
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
New Scientist
Next Big Future
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 19, 2010 8:58 PM.

Cool tool - EO DAS was the previous entry in this blog.

That is it for the night - a busy few months ahead is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9