Sounds of Silence

Nov. 14, 2018

A video on Youtube shows two thieves dressed in white hooded clothing. They approach a vehicle late at night. One thief holds a black box and presses some buttons. The other thief then jumps in and drives off the stolen vehicle.

My home is in the Chicago area. My credit card company called recently asking if I had been in California within the last week. Someone in California had charged $2,000 worth of clothing on my credit card. I had not been to California and did not make a $2,000 clothing purchase. Fortunately the credit card company was on the ball and caught the problem. They removed the $2,000 charge from my credit card account and issued a new credit card. It was still a hassle to be without a credit card for an extended period of time.

Electronics has taken over our lives in many ways. A Swiss hotel was held hostage last year by someone who hacked into their hotel computer network, inserted a virus, and electronically shut the hotel network down. Guests became locked out of their hotel rooms. The hacker demanded money to remove the virus and the hotel had no choice but to pay up.

Access control companies do resort to more stringent measures each time hackers find a bypass method for preceding security systems. Even companies on the right side of the law such as automotive programmers are continually developing new tools to overcome the latest transponder security tactics installed by car manufacturers. This suggests the question: Will transponders and access control cards ever be completely secure?

We are in a new era where thieves can use their brains instead of their brawn. Break-ins can be done instantly and silently with the push of a button. Conversely, mechanical lock systems put a thief in a compromising position. The best of lock pickers cannot be sure how long it will take while kneeling in front of a door lock before the lock may finally yield to tension wrench and rake. This all shows that the mighty pin tumbler lock will be with us for many years to come.