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Phony Laser Security System Proves Perception Is Reality

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the and-a-picture-of-a-dog dept.

Security 243

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Softpedia reports that Global Link Security Solutions are offering a product that doesn't actually do anything to alert an owner of a break-in to their home or business, but it displays "one hell of a laser show in an attempt to scare potential crooks into thinking that they have no chance of breaking in without triggering the alarm." According to the security firm, LaserScan has four lines of protection: a number of lasers that move along the walls and floors (video), an LED which indicates that there's a "link" to a satellite, a beeping alert, and a sticker placed on the front door. Although the company claims that none of their current customers has reported break-ins since the system has been installed, security guru Bruce Schneier highlights that the product only works if the product isn't very widely known."

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243 comments

Um, duh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087947)

How is this anything more than a high-tech version of the old "Beware of guard dog" signs?

Re:Um, duh? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088129)

How is this anything more than a high-tech version of the old "Beware of guard dog" signs?

Because it involves a laser or something which looks like one or is shiny (oooh!)

I see signs in a lot of yards Property Protected by Prominent Sounding Security Company.

I also see a lot of PRIVATE ROAD signs thrown up on public back roads to discourage adventurers. Google maps is pretty good, though for following right of ways and such.

Re:Um, duh? (5, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088189)

Where I used to work there was someone who put up no parking signs on their fence. I guess they parked their RV in their yard and wanted to be able to get it in and out. The city allows for a driveway, but you can't just say your entire frontage is no parking. Even so, the sign ensured that spot was almost always vacant. I parked there for a couple of years.

Re:Um, duh? (3, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088219)

I don't suppose it is... but that doesn't mean it's not doing the job.

Probably best to back up the high-visibility deterrent with a real camera and alarm system though. At very least for the insurance aspect.

Re:Um, duh? (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088367)

Everyone seems to be forgetting the most important aspect to security systems like this.....most thieves are crackheads and crackheads? Not the brightest bulbs. Like that old saying "You don't have to outrun the bear, just the other guy" the same thing applies here, as criminals are lazy and stupid and will go for the easiest mark. Will they think it may be fake? Sure but who wants to risk a 3-5 just to find out, when the building next door doesn't have anything at all protecting it?

Re:Um, duh? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088491)

I don't suppose it is... but that doesn't mean it's not doing the job

Exactly.
The Alarm company warning labels and signs are almost as effective as the alarms themselves. I know many people who subscribed for a year during some promo, then discontinued the service when the free-period was over. Left the signs in place.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088677)

Sensational headline is sensational.

It would be fair to call this "phony" if customers thought it was real.
From what I read it is the criminals who don't know it's fake.

Re:Um, duh? (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089149)

It's clear in their ad that their selling this IN ADDITION to a regular security system. It's just supposed scare off the thief before they break your window and you've got to pay a deductible. When I was in highschool I worked at a pizza shop. Every night the owner would close out the till, take the money drawer out and sit it on the counter, turn the register around and leave the drawer wide open facing the front window. I asked him why he did it and he said he had 3 break-ins where they had busted the front window and destroyed his cash register just to find out it was empty. Each time he had to pay $1000 deductible. Finally his insurance agent told him what to do with the cash register and he never had another break-in.

As long.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087983)

...as it is not widely known.

Posting it on Slashdot sounds like a great idea. :)

Re:As long.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088961)

Surely Slashdot readers have little overlap with petty criminals that need to resort to physical break-ins. Cyber crimes have far greater yield with much lower risk and effort.

Welp, there's my stab at a paraprosdokian. =3

d'oh! (4, Funny)

multiben (1916126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087987)

the product only works if the product isn't very widely known - lol.

Re:d'oh! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088283)

Security by obscurity has always been the most viable choice. /s

Re:d'oh! (1, Funny)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088297)

Who wants to knock off a bike shop and motorcycle shop tonight? I've got it on very good authority that they only use chincy light shows and don't have any worthwhile deterrents.

Re:d'oh! (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088849)

The presence of a visible deterrent doesn't preclude having a real one as well. The best security is both, that's why real car alarms often have the flashing LED on the dash, even if the fakes copied it and have them as well. Maybe their goal is to deter the drunks and opportunists, and the dedicated thieves wouldn't care anyway.

Re:d'oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088317)

Step 1: Create a fake security system.
Step 2: Publicize the fact that it is fake.
Step 3: Create a real security system that looks exactly the same, so that everyone thinks it's fake.
Step 4: Install the real security system in your home or business.
Step 5: ???
Step 6: Profit!

Re:d'oh! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088893)

??? == your house or business gets damaged causing either a huge increase in your home insurance and loss of any cost benefit to having an alarm in the first place, or you have to pay out of pocket. Thieves aren't gentle when they break in. The thieves will likely do some extra trashing since they're pissed an alarm went off (know over a TV, smash a plate glass window, etc.). And likely the thieves will get away with a ton because the police know that 95% of all alarm calls are false alarms and wait for the alarm company to try to call you first to determine if it is a real break in, and then they call the police. So the thieves know they actually have enough time to gather stuff up, drink one of your beers (or two), have a shit in your toilet and not flush it (or on your carpet), and then fuck off with the loot and not get caught.

??? == lose money. Nice try.

Better idea: get an alarm from a real company (brinks, adt, etc) and put their sticker on the door. Or just get one of their stickers and put it on the door. Some thieves won't give a shit anyway just as I mentioned. But more will because they know there is an actual company that has some sort of reputation to protect behind it, and not just a flashing light show.

just like fake cctv cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087989)

until the cops show up and spend the next 20 minutes laughing at you because instead of spending money on a real security system, you chose to blow it on a song and dance system.
criminals are dumb, but it seems this companies customers are dumber

Re:just like fake cctv cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088253)

indeed, if you are going to buy the cameras and installation...may as well get the TV and DVR/recording device too.

Easy to determine that it's fake (3, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087995)

Real alarms use infralasers.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (5, Funny)

Phixxr (794883) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088045)

Real companies use tripods when they shoot promo videos.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088269)

and... real criminals are not always that smart and get their working knowledge of security systems from Hollywood movies.

I'm willing to bet real money that if you took a sampling of 1000 prisoners (guilty of robbery) and showed them the video, 990 would believe it was a real laser security system.

If the criminal was sophisticated enough to know better, chances are they would walk into the place in broad daylight and use social engineering instead.

Now, if you *really* wanted to fuck with the criminals you would also install the infrared lasers and have a really big mean fucking dog set to be loose once the lasers were tripped.... and have a cage slam down in the front preventing escape.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088321)

Interesting idea. Pay prisoners to evaluate security systems and have the equipment suppliers pay. Of course, Prison-Corp will take their cut from yet another revenue stream.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088401)

That's a slippery slope.

At first they will just evaluate, which will be boring. Then install the tracking devices around their necks so they can do onsite testing. Start video taping the testing. A reality tv show is developed.

Then bam! Running Man.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088651)

Then bam! Running Man.

If you use more serious lasers you can have Burning Man.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (1)

MarioMax (907837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088519)

If the criminal was sophisticated enough to know better, chances are they would walk into the place in broad daylight and use social engineering instead.

Or they'd just say "fuck it", walk into the place in broad daylight wearing a ski mask and carrying a rifle, grab what he wants, and high-tail it before the cops show up.

Which is why you have... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088895)

Or they'd just say "fuck it", walk into the place in broad daylight wearing a ski mask and carrying a rifle, grab what he wants.

That's why you keepold ladies with guns [endoftheam...ndream.com] running the place.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088965)

Now if you really did that ... the guy would get hurt bad,he would get chewed up by the dog, get arrested, get taken to the hospital, taken to jail, put in front of a judge, get sentenced and get taken to prison.

YOU however, would get arrested, go in front of a judge, be sentenced and taken to prison, get your teeth kicked in by him and his friends, get taken to the hospital, get taken to see the prison dentist and get out of prison years after he did.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088583)

But if the criminal doesn't know it's there, it's not much of a deterrant. Maybe those real alarms should use visible-spectrum lasers. Or maybe both. Too bad this is now patented, depending on the language, competitors may not be able to do anything. Then again, I think this solution really is novel, and is relatively deserving of patent licensing fees.

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088769)

Real alarms use infralasers.

I had a friend once that got mad at his roommate over some squabble, suddenly moved out, and threatened to call the cops and tell them that he had pot in his house. The guy replied with: "Your DNA is on the bong." The dude immediately dropped his grudge.

Thank you CSI!

Re:Easy to determine that it's fake (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089029)

Doesn't really matter. If a potential thief has a choice between a house with no obvious alarm and one that has lasers going all over the place, they'll go for the former.

Bruce underestimates the value of theater (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088017)

The thing about "security theater", is that it's not 100% useless - it provides a very real psychological deterrent to someone thinking about breaking in.

Even if a criminal knew such a system was not real, they would not know it was not also paired with a real alarm system, or perhaps this version was real somehow. The kind of people breaking into things generally are not that well educated, so how could they really tell if the system was fake or not even knowing fake systems existed?

The problem with security theater in airports is that it causes way too much grief to outweigh the deterrence gained. But in this case there is no downside and the system would be very cheap to install.

True anecdote - when going to a summer college I had a car I had to park in a remote lot. I installed an LED I could turn on with a switch, that just sat there blinking.

The ONE DAY I forgot to turn on that switch, someone broke into my car and took a $10 cassette player (the window cost more than $50 to replace). After that I remembered every time to turn on my "alarm" and never had a problem again.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088057)

The key to theft deterrent is to be a more difficult/risky target than your neighbor.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (1)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088087)

If you and a halfling are being chased by a dragon ...

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088133)

If you and a halfling are being chased by a dragon ...

... remember that the halfling has a better shot at your knees than you do at his.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088349)

If you and a halfling are being chased by a dragon ...

... remember that the halfling has a better shot at your knees than you do at his.

Yes, but you can pick the halfling up and toss him towards the dragon's mouth. Which I have actually done before playing role playing games. Buddy was not amused.

Fastball special (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089267)

you can pick the halfling up and toss him towards the dragon's mouth. Which I have actually done before playing role playing games.

Yeah, the technique is called a fastball special [tvtropes.org] . Find someone small who's good with a weapon, and attack the dragon's weak point that way. Just be dang sure you can make the catch.

Kill the dragon and save both of you (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089235)

If you and a halfling are being chased by a dragon ...

...whip out your crossbow and attack its weak point. A dragon sleeps on a bed of pieces of soft metal because it isn't flammable (The Flight of Dragons). Some of this metal ends up embedding itself into the dragon's skin, where it acts as armor. But even old dragons that have metal fragments embedded in nearly their entire bellies are usually vulnerable in a couple parts (The Hobbit). So aim for the part of the underbelly that isn't metal-encrusted, or if you can't find that, aim for the eye.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088251)

When I was a teenager I went through a, shall we say "phase", anyways there's this really great device we used to test alarm systems, it allowed us to get into suspicious looking cars, buildings, houses with "beware of dog signs", etc. the devices weren't always available and didn't work 100%, but once we figured out you could collect and throw rocks at anything before risking our hides. Your car, would have been toast, the lasers thing probably would have scared the jeebers out of me the first night, but you always go back when you see shit like that. A lot of alarms in the early nineties were BS, most cameras too, dogs were the worst, but you ring the doorbell 50 times and virtually any dog will bark. This is penetration testing.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088467)

Where I grew up, I found that simply having alarm company stickers on your door was good enough to stop burglars. There are plenty enough houses there without any sort of security system. Even tweakers understand the idea of going after the low-hanging fruit.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088481)

Also, my car has an "alarm system" factory installed. I'm pretty sure the only thing it does is has a flashing LED. I've never heard it go off. I don't know what it sounds like if it did. So far, no break ins, though.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088951)

It probably keeps the tigers away too :-)

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (1)

nemesisrocks (1464705) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088641)

The thing about "security theater", is that it's not 100% useless - it provides a very real psychological deterrent to someone thinking about breaking in.

The whole point of most security systems -- even alarm systems -- is to pose a deterrent. Most break-ins are crimes of opportunity, not elaborate schemes planned over periods of months. Alarm systems are fairly inept nowadays: when you last heard your neighbour's alarm go off, did you drop in to investigate, or just presume it was broken again?

The effectiveness of the "security theatre" was demonstrated in a very personal way for me a few years ago. Some criminals went on a rampage looking for cash and valuables, and broke into every car on the street -- that didn't have a flashing red light. My sister's car, A Hyundai Excel, arguably one of the easiest cars to break into, was left untouched, because her aftermarket immobiliser happened to have a flashing red light on the dash. No alarm, no stickers, just a simple red light.

Re:Bruce underestimates the value of theater (1)

mike449 (238450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088753)

I have a counter-anecdote to tell. I had an LED blinker in my car, attached with a piece of velcro. The car was stolen and then recovered within a week. The only damage was the ignition lock, and the only item stolen from the car was the LED blinker.

Not entirely correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088039)

The product also works if there is a similar product that actually triggers an alarm but is indistinguishable from the fake security system.

Compare that with fake security cameras - it doesn't matter if they are widely known or not. If they can't be distinguished from a real camera by the criminal, they will have an effect.

Re:Not entirely correct (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088199)

The product also works if there is a similar product that actually triggers an alarm but is indistinguishable from the fake security system.
I can vouch that my house is 99.9% as safe now with the ADT sign and all of the equipment installed and turned on, but without monitoring as it was when I was paying for monitoring. I might even have continued paying for monitoring if the Fire Department hadn't threatened to start charging me for the numerous false alarms caused by ADTs crappy and yet somehow expensive hardware.

It will sell (4, Informative)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088055)

Every good security tech will suggest adding similar measures-- Security signs, dummy cameras, NRA member stickers, fake dog bark noises, even putting a huge dog bowl on the back porch. Just being a little harder target than the guy down the street helps. Criminals are usually not bright enough to figure out which threats are real or imagined.

Re:It will sell (1)

louic (1841824) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088093)

It may be a deterrent for YOUR house, but the burglars will go to your neighbors, forcing them to install alarms (fake or not), etc. Very profitable indeed!

Re:It will sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088395)

Why didn't you tell Henry Kissinger that 'deterrence' has a limited scope? Did you believe it would make him M.A.D. [slashdot.org] ?

Is this why the Israeli's felt compelled be the first ones on their block to install nuclear weapons?

If it's true that when all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail, then what does everything look like when you depend on subterfuge, high tech weaponry and derivative financial instruments, a Wallersteinian world [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:It will sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088119)

Criminals are usually not bright enough to figure out which threats are real or imagined.

That's not necessarily the case. As you yourself said, the easier target is the one with no protection at all, real or fake. Intelligence has nothing to do with it.

When our house (and 7 others on the block) were broken into in 2004, the detective who came later told us that the crooks look for places they can get into and out of in a minute or two. It's not even worth their time to think about whether the system is real or fake.

Re:It will sell (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088939)

Every house on my block was broken into in the 23 years I lived on one house, aside from mine. Hint:

Buy the worst house in a nice neighborhood. Keep it up so it looks like you never hire anyone to care for it, but it looks lived in. The house directly across the street was inhabited by two wealthy retirees who had yard people (and nothing but old lady crap inside), they got hit 3 times in one year. But we had reasonable insides, but the worst exterior, never broken into. We didn't even lock our doors.

Re:It will sell (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41089147)

you failed to mention that you were the thief

Re:It will sell (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088157)

Even if a "good" security system works, it still leaves a broken window, a trashed door, or other damage done by a burglar. I had a vehicle protected with a kill switch rather than a car alarm because I didn't care for the siren noise. It got broken into several times and the steering column opened up. My vehicle was still there when I came back, but it cost a pretty penny to get the broken window fixed, a new ignition switch, etc.

A real security system needs both. Real security that slows down or stops attacks combined with the "oh shit", brown-stain-in-pants, intimidation factor.

It also depends on the criminal. The two barking GSDs in the window may deter a professional thief who makes his money on doing his stuff quietly, but the meth-head will just fire off a few rounds with his 9mm, and score something to take to a fence for another bottle of shake-and-bake.

Personally, I'd take the laser system. Combined with a real alarm and in-depth security like sturdy, locking hall and bedroom doors, it will keep a good number of potential burglars at bay.

Re:It will sell (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088959)

Even if a "good" security system works, it still leaves a broken window, a trashed door, or other damage done by a burglar. I had a vehicle protected with a kill switch rather than a car alarm because I didn't care for the siren noise. It got broken into several times and the steering column opened up. My vehicle was still there when I came back, but it cost a pretty penny to get the broken window fixed, a new ignition switch, etc.

A real security system needs both. Real security that slows down or stops attacks combined with the "oh shit", brown-stain-in-pants, intimidation factor.

It also depends on the criminal. The two barking GSDs in the window may deter a professional thief who makes his money on doing his stuff quietly, but the meth-head will just fire off a few rounds with his 9mm, and score something to take to a fence for another bottle of shake-and-bake.

Personally, I'd take the laser system. Combined with a real alarm and in-depth security like sturdy, locking hall and bedroom doors, it will keep a good number of potential burglars at bay.

A "real security system" is impossible.
A 99.999% effective security solution is to put a box in the passenger seat that says "LIVE BEES".

Re:It will sell (5, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088191)

NRA stickers are a bad idea. Most break-ins occur when the burglar is reasonably sure that nobody's home. All the sticker does is advertise that there are guns here just waiting to be stolen.

BTW firearms rank right up there with cash and jewelry among desirable things to be stolen.

Re:It will sell (2)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088581)

That's why I prefer witches over guns.* It's hard for them to steal your weapon when your weapon has its own arcane shield and great brea^Wstaves and spells to deal heavy damage.

*Witches with guns [youtube.com] do complicate the risk calculation a bit.

Re:It will sell (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088981)

There were a series of home invasions in Anchorage 5 years ago. They targeted homes with guns. The only thing stolen was the guns. And they did so as home invasions, targeting when people were home. They didn't look for NRA stickers, but instead looked for people talking guns in high school, then talked them up about the types and kinds, then home-invaded later.

You are more likely to get shot with your own gun by a home invader than successfully use one against a home invader (given FBI numbers defining a "success" as a hit, if you use the gun-nut numbers, there are millions of incidences of people brandishing guns and running off robbers and home invaders, but no numbers supporting that theory since the government is out to get them).

don't rob me signs (1)

manaway (53637) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088713)

Some thieves target cars with NRA stickers because there are often guns inside. Easy money. So maybe place the sticker on your house instead of your pickup. I don't know how bright criminals are compared to the typical person, but I suspect as more people go unemployed and increasingly desperate, the criminal IQ will approach the national average.

Re:It will sell (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088755)

Criminals are usually no bright enough to figure out which threats are real or imagined

Would anyone here know which high or low threats are real or imagined?

What happens when you disrupt the pattern, break the beam -- infrared or visible light? Is there a gun? Is there a dog?

Make my day. Prove me wrong.

the more security the more to steal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088085)

If I saw a house with a laser security system I would immediately think "what the hell are they trying to keep hold of that's so important they need a super fancy laser security system to protect..."

Re:the more security the more to steal (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088115)

And if you were a super criminal that would matter. If, however, you are just out to grab some stuff to sell in order to by some crack then you'll just move onto the next place.

Re:the more security the more to steal (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089239)

I don't think they're selling this to protect homes. The video linked to shows a bike shop. Kind of obvious what valuables they have even without some show-off security system.

home security.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088091)

When I was researching home security, I often stumble upon the "fact" that the biggest deterrent are alarm signs and having a barking dog (regardless of size - it doesn't even have to be aggressive). The last thing a thief needs is attention. If that fails and the intruder gets in (and assuming you have neighbors within an earshot), the loud alarm sound will make them panic, or at least make them rush through things and make mistakes.

Lastly, if you do have a genuine alarm, which I think it's useless, the operator will first call you to confirm intrusion BEFORE contacting the police. Even after the police is called, they consider it low priority unless there's a person in the house with the potential of the situation escalating to you becoming a hostage. But anyways, it will be 30 minutes before the police arrives at your location. This has happened 3 times at my dad's business where it was burglarized. The cops were pretty much useless and honestly && realistically, by the time the security company calls the cops, the thieves are already long gone. Why does my dad have it? For insurance reasons.

For my house, i just put up signs and stickers, and have a honeywell system setup that directly dials my cell phone. It works because I rarely use my landline, and on my cell caller ID, i renamed it to "HOME INVASION". Security system operators are largely useless, especially for home.

Re:home security.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088229)

A decent home security system will have two armed settings - Home and Away. If the alarm is triggered and it was set to Away the operator doesn't call the house first, just gets the police.

Re:home security.. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088235)

Just wire up a speaker so you can call up and say "hello? Who's there? Hey you, stop right there!"

Re:home security.. (3, Insightful)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088437)

Or just a high quality sample of a pump-action shotgun getting cycled, which is the international signal for "you're in a whole heap 'o trouble, son!" :-)

Re:home security.. (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089129)

Hack up you 'big mouth billy bass' to make the pumping shotgun noise. Brown stains leading out of house.

Screws over the people with real alarms (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088145)

Part of the problem with this sort of thing isn't just that it only works when it isn't widely known. Even if it is only marginally known, it will make criminals take security systems (even real ones) less seriously because they know there's a decent chance the system is fake. Since there's evidence that criminals already have poorer impulse control and less are less risk averse than the general population http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/294626-overview [medscape.com] , http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/71/6/720.full [bmj.com] , http://web.utk.edu/~wneilson/EcLett-Crime.pdf [utk.edu] , this is likely to make them more likely to break in general. This will make alarm systems be less effective deterrents. Essentially this is very close to defecting in the n-player version of the prisoner's dilemma.

Even if it does deter people, it could easily lead to more and more intimidation required to get criminals to take the threat seriously, which could lead to an arms race of ridiculous looking security measures. Overall, this seems socially irresponsible.

Re:Screws over the people with real alarms (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088609)

ONLY if the deterrents in use in your dichotomy are false deterrents.

Consider this: the thieves now throw themselves headlong into security systems believing they might be false; the thieves are caught mid-act by effective, real, actual, working, again: effective security systems; the thieves are fucked (caught).

This might be a possible scenario where broadcasting the existence of the tar-baby or fake intruder countermeasure results in heightened effectiveness of existing effective countermeasures simply because: more people plunge into them based on the probability of those countermeasures being ineffective based on some crazy stunt-kit that copycats actual security.

Do you understand what I'm saying? People are dynamic.

Many thieves look at cameras and actually judge for themselves whether those cameras are the real thing or are fake cameras put up to ward off thieves.

The idiots waltz right through attempted thievery and are caught because, indeed, the cameras were real but the thieves acted as if they might not be. It happens frequently.

Despite what some may say, fake security DOES impede real crime, and obfuscation DOES impede real attempts to decrypt.

Re:Screws over the people with real alarms (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088697)

Alroight. final argument:

Consider where G O D used to stand in for security AND technology, both similar.

Consider if you told tales about security technology.

Consider how effective you'd be while admiring the eventual growth rate and power structure of something like the vatican, the muslim world, and the hindu/buddhist structure, all combined.

Tell me you don't think a little make-believe, a little lying, are effective means of creating a world where nobody is sure what to believe, but people learn methods of "faith" (trust-based security) to defeat the overwhelming tides of the "devil" (the ever-present threat of falsehood, including the epitomy of falsehood -- malware).

TECHNOSHAMANISM is at hand! Embrace it! Lie! Cheat! Steal! Corrupt! Take your spoils, as I will take mine, for from an early time I know we all have earned them, not as they were plucked like teeth from the mouth of a poor young man but as they were the feathers of the phoenix taken from the dwindling fires of an early age almost squashed by hegemony and greed!

Take up the knowledge that obfuscation DOES offer some security, and use it as a springboard to collapse those systems that attempt to squelch your security through incorporate frustration and under-thought malfeasance.

Why have we not shown this world a thing or two, already? Who are we? Always under-paid, under-laid, under-privilege bastard sons of stupid bitches, or are we decent enough company to take under the wings of even the highest eagles?

Break a few more bangles, and urge a few more charms, and I'm sure that the "nerd" culture might even win a few favors where, for now, it stands like a reedy moss in a thicket of water and shit, soaking up detritus and proving for itself nothing but its own respiration.

Re:Screws over the people with real alarms (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089175)

I have faith healed computers and cars for credulous people. In both cases I reattached a lose connector while distracting them with the hocus pocus.

Nobody bought it, they knew I'm a heathen.

prepare for incoming lawsuit (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088161)

By publicizing this system even after well-known security expert Bruce Schneier "highlights that the product only works if the product isn't very widely known", Slashdot is clearly guilty of attempting to aid and abet burglars. Cybercrime charges for samzenpus!

Wow there must be some valuable stuff in there! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088175)

Lets nock out the power and take it.

Re:Wow there must be some valuable stuff in there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088591)

Every Security system I've ever seen is battery backed up. Most of the good ones I saw in the 90s even had ways to connect cellphones so that you could have it remote dial if the phone lines were taken out as well.

Re:Wow there must be some valuable stuff in there! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089023)

Cutting power will immediately set off my home alarm. As will cutting the phone line. Battery backed up celular in case outside power and phone are cut. If you break in with a real system, you might get inside before it goes off. With mine, the alarm would be activated before you ever made it inside, increasing your chance of being caught. Cutting power almost never works. You aren't smarter than everyone who has ever worked security combined. They've already thought of this.

Really old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088183)

Having fake security systems is almost as old as real security systems.

Why was this one reported on?

Re:Really old news (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088499)

Lasers, my friend, lasers.

Slashdot can't resist any bit of news or new product that might even hint at lasers. Throw sharks into the mix if you can and PROFIT!

A friendly voice informs thief (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088287)

"Greeting, my laser targeted guns have locked onto you and will fire in ten seconds. Would you like me to inform your next of kin?"

apply this same mentality, everywhere. (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088443)

I came up with a pretty distinct statement about this concept.

""There's no security in obfuscation" cannot be a positively true statement. Comparatively, there is absolutely *no* security in full disclosure or revelation, whereas in obfuscation there is *enough* security that many people resort to it in an attempt to secure things, typically because it's just *enough* to fool people."

You can read it at my professional (not my funny friendly one) gabe.petrie at facebook.

Security theatre isn't useless. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088511)

Let's put aside the psychological arguments, the publicity arguments, and who-knows-what-else, and concentrate on one specific point:

MANY ATTACKERS ARE FUCKING RETARDED.

A little bluffing at the front door can shake off lots of people who don't read Slashdot, or Scheier, or even Popular Mechanics for that matter. If your primary threat comes from a foreign intelligency agency, this probably won't do crap for you. If your primary threat comes from metal theiving tweekers, then that's an entirely different story. But there's another closely related point here too:

MANY OF YOUR NEIGHBORS ARE ALSO FUCKING RETARDED.

Or to put it another way... if you and your friend are hiking in the woods and you run across a grizzly bear, you don't need to outrun the bear. You just need to outrun your friend. A little security theatre might be just the trick if the bozo next door looks like a softer target than you.

It doesnt make it reality (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088691)

It boils down to a simple fact, crooks prefer easy targets. If you appear to be more work than the guy next door, he will move on unless he wants YOU. Then nothing will stop him and will just laugh at your fake system that didn't magically become 'real'..

This could work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41088827)

What if they did something like this. If the customer wants to be cheap, they can just get the lightshow and loud noises. If they want real protection, that light show and loud noises tie into an actual system. That way the thief would have a harder time knowing if police were alerted or not.

My sticker would say: (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088857)

This system could be real, or it could be fake... You gotta ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?....Well, do ya, punk?

Interview with a career burglar (1)

Monkier (607445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088987)

I remember seeing some documentary interview with a career break & enter guy. He said he learned pretty quick to rob rich neighbourhoods; they had much better stuff to steal. The interviewer asked if he was worried about house alarms, and he said that the vast majority of houses he robbed had alarms not switched on or otherwise inoperable. He'd just try break in, if he didn't hear a siren he'd be in and out in a few minutes.

Perception is everything. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089087)

A long time ago I had a dog that had bonked her head a few times running into the sliding-glass door. Eventually, I could fool her by pretending to shut the door and she would just stand there until I pretended to open it. Dogs are fun.

That means it will work (4, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#41089113)

I bought a fake "security camera" for $12, just has a blinking red LED, no other real electronics... and mounted it on a pole peeking above my fence on our dead end.

Instant effects. No more people parking to have sex or eat McDonald's and throw the trash on my lawn, no more people stealing flowers or attempting to hide in my property, even the neighbors are paranoid about the "surveillance."

Most people don't understand the difference between their web browser and the file manager.

Unless you're in a very rich neighborhood which attracts high-end catburglars out of the movies, the presence of a few strange boxes with red lights is more than enough to make them go away.

Laser pointers taped to ceiling fan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41089335)

Cheaper solution

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