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5/17/2010
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Five Ways To (Physically) Hack A Data Center

Many data centers contain easy-to-exploit physical vulnerabilities that don't require hacking into the network

But like any undercover work, social engineering can tax the professional social engineer's conscience. Jones says the toughest job he had was for an energy firm, where he had to get inside the utility for five days and grab as much data and gain as much access as possible. "So I tailgated in talking on my phone ... and no one ever questioned me," he says. He found an empty desk in a cubicle and plugged his laptop into the network jack.

"An older lady in the cube next to me asked, 'Is there something I can help you with?' and I said I was trying to get my laptop on the network, and that I was here for training."

The woman got IT support to come and connect Jones to the company's network. "She was a really sweet lady," he says, and they would chat regularly. "She knew I was leaving that Friday, so she brought me a plateful of homemade cookies and said she hoped I'd had a great time at the company. I felt so bad -- I had spent a week lying to 'my Grandma.'"

Jones says doors and windows installed with their hinges on the outside of the data center also are a common mistake; it takes a couple of seconds to pop a door or window off of its hinges if it's installed this way. "This is a construction problem. When people have these things built, they don't think about it," Jones says. "It shouldn't cost any extra money for the contractor to fix it. Or you can call your lesser" if the data center is in a leased space, he says.

Jones discussed some of these physical weaknesses in data centers at the Thotcon conference last month in Chicago. A copy of his slides from that presentation are available here (PDF).

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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SamMaron
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SamMaron,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2015 | 5:26:03 AM
Data Center
Another common physical weakness in the data center is the door lock. The only ways to mitigate this type of unauthorized entry is to have either turnstile-based badge entry, where only one person can get in at a time and with a badge.

ideals solutions group
JohnD703
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JohnD703,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/18/2016 | 9:24:18 AM
Re: Data Center
You have EXCATLY described the methods of protection in Google Data Centers. Check the video in YouTube!!!!
JohnD703
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JohnD703,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/18/2016 | 9:24:26 AM
Re: Data Center
You have EXCATLY described the methods of protection in Google Data Centers. Check the video in YouTube!!!!
stact123
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stact123,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/2/2019 | 1:45:12 AM
Re: Data Center
I propose merely very good along with reputable data, consequently visualize it: m&a virtual data room
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