Burglar alarms and how to bypass them
Introduction to the various types of alarms in use today.
So we will discuss the circuits that guard a building's perimeter. Therefore, they are used primarily on doors and windows. The most common member of this family is the magnetic switch, the little set of white rectangular boxes seen above doors of most businesses. RadioShack is one business that love to use them because they market them for there home security line. Part 2 will deal with second line defense, the area sensor. These sensors monitor a specific area rather than a specific point of entry. These are often called motion detectors, sinnce anyone moving about a guarded room will be detected.(like no shit!) The way in which these sensors achieve this goal varies between components. And in Part 3 I will give you some general notes and observations on alarm bypassing.
I. MAGNETIC CONTACT SWITCHES
The magnetic switch is the most common of all hardwired components found on doors and windows around the world. It consits of two individual pieces, the switch itself, and the companion magnet. The switching mechanism is a spring loaded lever that makes contact with a stationary metal arm when the companion magnet is near. So the magnetic switch is a normally closed circuit. When the magnet is pulled away, the lever is released from the stationary arm and the circuit is no longer complete. So, the opening of aprotected door or window removes the magnet from the switch, and since the circuit is no longer complete the alarm sounds (simple electronics!). Since the circuit of a magnetic contact switch in normally closed wires cannot be cut to defeat the system cause this has the same effect as removing the companion magnet. The magnetic switch offers more opertunity for jumpering than does any other individual component. since the wires are often visible, one only needs to remove the insulation, and place a small wire across the circuit to defeat and bypass the switching mechanism. The main problem for the thief then is to locate the wires if they are not visible. Often they are hidden behind baseboards or trimming or are snaked through the studs behind the drywall. They may be uncovered from the outside after the bricks and wallboard have been removed.
We now move into the study of the next generation of alarms, the area sensors. The first area sensor component we will examine is the ultrasonic alarm. The ultrasonic system consists of a transmitter, which emits afrequency that lies above the human threshold of hearing, and a receiver, that monitors the incomming frequency. The entire system is generally self contained in one unit, although occasionally on transmitter is used with several receivers.
The sound waves that emanate from the transmitter follow an elliptical (resembling an elongated oval) pattern, and ultimately return to the reciever. If those waves are somehow altered during their elliptical journey the receiver will know it, and the alarm will sound. Therefore the theory is that if a burglar enters a guarded area, the ultrasonic frequency will be altered by his presence, thus alerting the receiver to an intrusion. The ultrasonic system is very effective, and the range is generally about 40-50 feet. Although ultrasonic, the frequency that these systems trasmit is low, about 20-45 kHz (kiloHertz, or thousand cycles per second). Standard AM radio is between 535 and 1605 kHz. This makes detection somewhat difficult, but not impossible. The elimination of possible ultrasound users is even easier.
People who own pets are excluded from ultrasonic usage. Pets cause too many false alarms, and the ultrasound may be very irritating to them, since they have a higher sonic perception range. Loud noises create false alarms. Also ultrasound cannot be employed where there is a great deal of movement. Blowing drapes, forced-air heating, falling boxes, Cuckoo clocks, etc. are all causes for false alarms, and generally exclude their owners from ultasonic
There are several methods of ultrasonic detection. Multi-range bug detectors will reveal the presence of these alarms. Or, with the assistance of an electronics engineer, one could make a device that responds to frequencies between 25 and 45kHz. Another way is to purchase a multiband radio or scanner that contains these low frequencies. If the frequencies are scanned slowly, between the aforementioned parameters, an inordinate amount of static and interference should occur when the correct frequency is discovered. Another way, albeit unorthodox, is to take a mouse or a hamster near the suspected ultrasonic sourse, and observe their reactions. Small rodents detest ultrasound, and they usually make every effort to avoid it. This is the same shit they use with those electronic pest-ridders. There are converters available that bring the inaudible frequencies down to the human's audio perception level. In the presence of ultrasound, these converters will produce a high-pitched hum. Even if prior detection is impossible, professional burglars have observed that transmitters are almost always placed in the corner of a protected room.
Once the sensor is dectected and located, what next? How does one penetrate an invisible and inaudible sound barrier, in order to disarm it, without subjecting oneself to immediate detection? If a homeowner caused his ultrasonic dector to blare throughout the neighborhood,after comming home from work every day, he would soon get many complaints from his neighbors. That is why most ultrasonic alarms, and most other alarms as well, have delay switches.
They allow the person to enter the house and disarm the system before the alarm goes off. It allows him to arm it, and then leave befor it begins monitoring. This type usually has a simple on/off switch on the back, and if a burlar reaches it befor the thirty seconds expire, the system doesn't know he isn't the homeowner. This type is usually a desktop model, and usually has an electrical out let attached to it so that a lamp may be made to come on to scare a burglar.
Because of their simple on/off switch, these are obviously the easiest to bypass, but there are some that are a bit more difficult. They are often disguised as a wall outlet, Hi-Fi speaker, book, or are more conspicuously located on the wall. The wall and outlet varieties are usually part of a larger, centralized system,and can only be reconized because Hi-Fi's have an even number of speakers, and third ir fifth speaker should stand out. Also if a speaker is just standing there with no stero or shit to accompany it, then thats a dead giveaway for theives. The book type is more difficult to locate when many books are in the room but it will be rather thich volume with either two twin circles or squares (transmitter and receiver) on the binding. The name will alos be of a generic nature.
So the burglars primary difficulty lies in defeating the outlet and wall- mounted types. There are several techniques that , when used together, enhance your success tremendously! If one has prior access to the protected area while the system is disarmed, sucess in defeating the system is almost guaranteed. A burglar may lower the sensitivity to zero, fill the entire apparatus with aerosol styrofoam, or, if no one is around, cut through the drywall,locate,bare,and jumper any wires that may be found. If one does not have prior access, he still has a few options at his disposal.
While the owner is away one may rap the windows violently to create an alarm and if this is done daily, the neighbors will eventually tell him that they are tired of blasting through the neighborhood every day. Believing his sensitivity is too high, he will usually lower it to compensate for the "mysterious" outside noises. After this all done, the burglar then wearing a heavy oversiezed coat, or even a rug, if possible. The more sound-absorbing material a burglar can don, the safer he'll be. The larger coat or rug absorbs rather that altar the sound frequencies, and the system's efficiency is compromised considerably. If the wall are covered with rugs, draperies, or tapestries, the effect is multiplied. But absorbing some sound is not enough, so in addition to that the burglar must move super-slow. If the burglar must traverse a monitored area of twenty feet, he may spend at least ten minutes crossing it. The object here is to move so slowly that the frequency remains undisturbed by the burglar's motion. Some ultrasonic units are hidden behind wallpaper or plaster, but this cuts there effectiveness by at least 25%. If the ultrasound units are installed in that manner, they become so unresponsive the above methods becomes all the more efficacious!
There is one last remote, yet viable, technique for circumventing this type of component. If one discovers the exact operating frequency of the unit, he theoretically at least, get an ultrasonic transducer of the same frequency, and stick it in front of the receiving unit. The whole monitored area could be violated because the reciever would be receiving what the transmitter was transmitting. I've never tried this before, but it is a possibility.
II. PHOTOELECTRIC ALARMS
The photoelectric alarm,or "electric eye" is a fairly common alarm today, and like the ultrasonic unit it consists of a transmitter and receiver. The transmitter sends lightto the receiver, and if the beam is interrupted for a second, the reciever recognizes it and sounds the alarm. The electric eye princple came about during World War II so in other words the system is old! The photoelectric unit may be a transmitter and a receiver that oppose each other, or the transmitter and the reciever may be housed together in one unit, while utilizing a reflector at the other end of the room. If you have no idea what kind of alarm this is it's the ones that lets off a buzz when you walk into a store. The old type of unit, which is still seen in some places, uses ordinary white light. These are simply defeated by shining a flashlight into the receiver, so that a 'buddy' may pass right through the beam. This is easily detected, especially at night, because the light is plainly visible. Even though the newer models use invisible light, they are still terribly easy to bypass. They are placed in front of doors, windows, or in long hallways, in an attempt to catch passerbys. The inherent disadvantage of photoelectric sensors is that they are easily seen. Although sometimes disguised as wall receptacles, they are almost always in plain view, and this fact alone aids in circumvention.
The modern electric eyes use a beam of Ultra-Violet or Infra-Red light. Anyone can buy from a science supply company, filters that allow them to view UV or IR light. The invisible light is no visible, and may be easily avoided. Trying to shine a beam of UV or IR light into the reciver may work but the higher-tech models use a pulsed beam. The receiver will be programed to the transmitter's frequency, and any deviation will result in an alarm. If one has access to the premises befiorehand, he can kick and break the reciever, causing it to malfunction, and causing the owner to shunt that zone before arming the system.
There may be cases where the componet uses laser light, instead of Ultra-Violet or Infra-Red. This is easily stepped over,ducked under,or otherwise avoided,provided there is not an entire network of lasers that form an impassable grid. This would be only used in a very high-security situation, but since it does occur, burglars have discovered at least two ways which it may be surmounted. First, a mirror system could be designed that provides a doorway for the burglar. The mirrors must be precisely 45* degrees, and since the apparatus is constructed on the spot, careful planning must go into it design. The viability of the next technique depends greatly on the circumstances involved. If there is a hiding place near the laser grid, one can walk right through the grid and the hides and then the burglar releases a bird that he brought with him. After the alarm sounds the guard will see the bird near the alarm and wounder how it got there but will assume that it was the bird that triggered the alarm. It should be obvious to you that this technique may be used used in other areas of alarm bypassing. The laser grid system will not be encountered very often, one of my high tech hoods say he only came accross one at a jewlry store. So a burglar with UV or IR filters may be fairly certain that he is safe from detection by photoelectric alarms.
III. PASSIVE INFRA-RED ALARMS
Passive Infra-Red alarms, or PIRs are so called because they do not emit Infra-Red energy, but merely detect a change in it. A PIR probes its monitoring area, and if any changes are detected in Infra-Red (heat), it sounds an alarm. A PIR records the ambient room temperature so it will notice any changes such as that produces by the human body. Slow temperature changes, such as thermostatically controlled heating systems, will not interfere with the PIR's duties. The PIR is often called a thermal detector, however such heat detectors are used primarily for fire prevention. The PIR is immediatly recognizable due to its common design and dark-red lens. They are very common in museums,banks,and other places where high-security is desired.
The very fact that a PIR is passive, disallows easy detection. The burglar must rely solely on his observations for the recognition of a PIR system. Due to the nature of a PIR, they are usually placed in a very conspicuous location, such as in the corner of a room. The bad news for the burglar is that PIR's have vandal-proof germanium lenses, are tamper-proof, and cannot be jumpered reliably. Also the range of the PIR can be 70 feet or more, although a PIR's probing pattern usually only monitors an area of about 20 feet square.
As reliable as they are, PIR's as you've probably guessed, are defeatable or I wont not have wasted my damn time telling you about them. Althogh they are generrally undetectable, large-pet owners are immediatly eliminated from the list of possible PIR users. With there recent proliferation into the resdential market, burglars have learned to anticipate a PIR system. Some are sold over-the-counter,although a great many are professionally installed. Therefore, one means of detection would be to see whether or not the alarm company's window decal was present.
Earlier, I said that PIR's detect rapid changes in temperature. I have walked albeit slowly directly up to a PIR, and have not set it off. My movement was so slow that the PIR adjusted to the slight difference in ambient temperature that my body was creating. Even if a PIR system is on a silent alarm (as disscussed in part 3), one immediatly knows whether or not he is detected. All modern PIR's have a tiny red LED (light-emitting diode) that lights when the burglar causes the internal switch to close. Although I have walked up to a PIR, it took me four or five times to get it right, therefore just walking slowly is not enough. The greater the distance between room temperature and the temperature of the source of violation, the move efficiently the PIR will work. As the gap between room temperature and the temperature of the violator narrows, the efficiency of the PIR decreases respectively. So since our bodies maintain a constant temperature of 98.6*,a PIR in a room with a temperature around 100* will never notice you walking through the room. Now the only problem is how the hell is the burglar is going to heat and maintain a room above body temp. One way is to get to the thermostat and turn it on full blast. Another way is to, if possible,make a hole in the room or building, and introduce a large space-heater. It should be at least 350,000 BTU's so that it can produce the needed heat. If it blows directly into the path of the PIR unit, the alarm will sound. The heat must be raised gradually, or the thief defeats his own purpose.
Mylar is a thin, metallic, plastic-like material that has a very intersting characteristic. When worn, it allows very little body heat to escape. If a suit, with hood, was made of this stuff will lower the chance of detection.
IV. MICROWAVE SYSTEMS
The microwave alarm system is another transmitter/reciever motion detector, and is unquestionably the most difficult to successfully bypass. The system emits a beam of ultra-high RF (Radio Frequency) energy, generally 10.525 GHz, and detects intruderes by observing any change in that RF energy. Microwave systems are extremely versatile in that one unit may be used to monitor an 80 by 80 room or a 10 by 300 hallway. The primary disadvantage of a microwave system is that it has a propensity to penetrate the boundaries of the building it is protecting. In other words, microwave energy that is used to guard a business sometimes reaches out into the parking lot, which understandably causes many false alarms. The detection of microwaves is actually very easy. The frequency they use, 10.526GHz, is approximately that of a poloice radar. So when you are near a microwave alarm system, a superheterodyne radar detector will sound. The close resemblance between microwaves and radar has prompted people to call these "radar systems'" but that is technically inaccuratte.
Once detected quite frankly there is not much one can do to bypass a microwave alarm in its capacity as a simgle component. However, there are always part of a larger, centralized system that may be defeated. There are some possibilities, however, for the determined burglar, but these depend greatly on the circumstances. For example, microwaves will NOT penetrate metal. If one had prior access to the building being guarded, he could arrange metal objects (filing cabinets,desks,etc.) so that he could reach his destination undetected. Another method is for the burglar to move VERY,VERY slow. Microwaves systems cannot detect movement if it proceeds at less than two inches per second. That is indeed slow! When a burglar encounters a microwave alarm he is expected to silence the annunciator.
In Part Three, we will dicuss the variety of systems that are monitored by a central station. Rather than announcing an intrusion (via bell,siren,etc.), this type of system silently sends a signal to the alarm company where people are monitoring for intrusions. This type of system, therefore, is often known as the "silent alarm." Although one can obtain his objective by bypassing the individual components of a local alarm system, when bypassing this type, one must shut off the entire system to be successful. The employees of the central station are led to believe that the alarm is being shut off by authorized personnel.
I. THE CENTRAL STATION
A few years ago, rich homeowners, business owners, and other potential targets for burglary, had alarms systems that were tied in directly to the local police ststion. As the use of burglar alarms increased, the police department began turning down more and more requests to be "hooked-up." As a result, there became a demand for central stsions, or companies whose specialty it was to simply monitor burglar alarms. Most police departments will still allow banks and large jewelry stores a direct link to the police station, but as a rule, homeowners are excluded. So as the demand for security has risen, many guard agencies and burglar alarm insttallers have begun to offer centralized monitoring as an option for their clients.
When a silent alarm is installed, it is connected by a dedicated telephone line to the central station. In event of an intrusion, the control panel on the premises being monitored calls up to the central station. In the event of an intrusion, the cotrol panel on the premises being monitored calls up the central station and gives an electronic message to the answering computer. It tells the computer exactly which switch or sensor has been violated, and the computer then tells the operator what has happened. For example if a burglar enetered throuhg a broken window, the panel would call the computer up and tell it that zone 4, a first floor window, has been broken. The operator would then see on his computer screen that Acct. #1234, the Johnson residence has had zone 4, the window foiling on the living room window, violated. As the theif progressed through the house, the panel would call the computer for every sensor that was violated. The operator may then receive 1234-17, meaning that zone 17, a passive Infra-Red dector in the master bedroom, has detected someone. The operator would then be fairly sure someone was in the house, so he would have three options. He may just send his companies guards to the scene, call 911 and dispatch the police, or he may send both the police and the guards. (I'll tell you how to deal with the both of them later.)
When an authorized person enters through the designated entry/exit door,he goes directly to the control panel. Using a key, or his push-button code, he shuts the system off. If he enters at a strange hour, he must call the central station and give them his password or code phrase. And so, since the system was properly disarmed, the central station operator then pays no more attention to that particular account for the rest of the night. Because of the time delay, the owner is able to shut it off before the panel has time to call up the central station's computer. This, coupled with the fact that the owner calls the central station to give them his code, supposedly guarantees against foul play. The premise here is that even if a burglar can get to the panel, and shut it off, he will not know the code word. I suppose the people who think that must have never herd of bugs or telephone taps, not to mention laser surveillance devices, parabolic and directional microphones, or the "Oops, I forgot my coat last night" (which contained a voice-operated tape recorder) trick. The entry/exit door is another safeguard against illegal entry. It is designated by the owner at the time of the installation, to be the ONLY method of entrance when the alarm is armed. That doesn't mean that the owner always obeys this, but it causes the central station operator to be a bit more suspicious if someone shuts off an alarm, but does not enter through it.
Since the best way to bypass a monitored alarm is to appear to be authorized to do so, a burglar usually doeas some surveillance to determine the entry/exit door.
A central station has an immense amount of control over the security of its city. The central station keeps blueprints (containing alarm design) of clients' buildings, the master codes and codewords for all alarms, and it sometimes even keeps a copy of their keys. It also knows when their clients are out of town, and how long they will be gone for. I'll show you how to gain access to the central stations weakness and how to exploite it later on in the GUERRILLA TACTICS section.
It would greatly benefit a thief if he knew whether or not a system was monitored, and if so, by whom. Ordinarily, a security puts its sticker on the doors and windows of a monitored house or business. The thief could look through the local Yellow Pages, to find out if the company is legit, and also how long it may take the guards to respond to a call. A common way to test
this is to throw a rock through a window. If a bell sounds its most likely a local alarm, if there is no sound but cops arrive moments later, it is monitored. After a house or business has been determined to have a monitored system, there are several ways to determine the company that monitors it. Let's say that the proposed target is Movie Rental at 716 Broadway Street. One could call every alarm company in the Yellow Pages, and say,"This is the police department, do you monitor Movie Rental on Broadway?" Usually, an answer will be given, but a reason for wanting to know should be prepared. Presumably, one company will eventually say that they do indeed monitor Movie Rental on Broadway. Another way to find out who monitord Movie Rental is to strike up a conversation with the proposed victim, and ask him to recommend a security company. A less risky way is to throw a rock through the containing foil, and see how comes out to fix it. The name of the company is usually written on the side of the car or truck for advertisement, but if not the license plate is run through the DMV computer. In rural or suburban areas, one could also check the homeowner's mail for the alarm company's bill.
An alarm company not only monitors for intrustions, but also for tampering and sabotage. Cutting the telephone lines, the power lines, or tampering with the control panel, will bring the cops just as fast as breaking down the door. Although leaving the telephone off the hook will prevent the alarm company from contacting the house, it will not keep the control panel from contacting the company's computer, because it features a "line seizure" mechanism. That means that no matter what happens, the alarm signal will get through to the central station's computer.
II. PREAMPLIFIED MICROPHONES
The preamplified microphone, or preamp, as it is called, is usually a small black box that sits in a centralized location, and listens for anything out of the ordinary. Many companies, notably Sonitrol Security, utilize preamps in addition to regular components. When the system is armed, the preamplifier sends sounds (via telephone wires) to the central station. The preamp can pick up the slightest noise, so that tell-tale sounds of a burglary betray the burglar even if the other components do not. The preamp does not know the difference between the sounds of burglary and everyday noises, so it also sends barking dogs, sirens,telephone rings,and virious other "harmless" noises into the ears of the central station operator. Although they are sometimes dectected with high-quality bug dectectors, it is often quite diffcult to know whether or not they are being used. However, if a thief knows (or thinks) a preamplifier is being used, they are quite easily overcome. If, prior to execution, one calls the residence or business, the ringing will continue until the burglar arrives. If the burglar is very quiet, the ringing will mask the noise that he is making, and the listener will be none the wiser. Also a tape recording of a siren or barking dog is often used to create the same effect.
Some security supply companies sell sound generator or jamming device that nullifies bugs and other microphones, but the interference that this creates may arouse undue suspicion, so it may not be practical for all circumstances. One method that is practical, however, is the use of a CB linear. If a CB radio that is connected to a powerful linear (over 250 watts) is used near a preamplifier, the only thing that the operator at the central station will hear is the CB conversation. You may think that this shit would arouse suspicion but when we used it, it didn't! because this shit happens all the time. Everytime a trucker with a powerful CB radio passes by a home or business with a preamp this phenomenon happens (cool huh?). Since preamplified microphones also capture the sound of an authorized entry, the code is usually just given aloud upon entering, so the operator can shut off his system. This code, then, is extremely easy to obtain.
III. POLICE AND GUARD RESPONSES
Although a burglar may proceed with caution, defeat every alarm component in sight, and shut off the whole alarm panel, there is still a chance that he may make a mistake. If the mistake is insignificant, no one ever knows about it, and his mission comes off smoothly, but if the mistake raises the suspicion of the central operator, it may result in the dispatch of guards or police to the premises. The professional burglar recognizes this possiblity, and often takes steps to minimize the risks and dangers of getting caught. With enough planning, not only will his mission be accomplished, but the burglar will also probaly escape. If a burglar creates a silent alarm, or otherwise arouses the suspicion of the operator, the police, guards or both, may be sent. If the alarm company has its own mobile guards, it will dispatch them to the scene via radio. This radio frequency is easily discovered by networking with scanner
enthusiasts, or by writting FCC. Once the freq is procured, the burglar can listen to and follow every move of the guards. If the guards are headquartered at the central station, a friend can keep the place under surveillance, and watch the guards activities. If they suddenly go to their vehicles, and proceed toward the place being burglarized, the 'friend' will notify the burglar by walkie-talkie. (I know of someone that did this and invested $300 for walkie talkies and it turned out that they were the same ones used by the guards so he just monitered his walkie-talkie during the whole mission!)
If the potential take is large enough, burglars may even have several cars strategically placed along all possible routes that guards and police must use
to arrive at the scene. If they observe anything relevent, they will notify
the burglar. They may also bug the central station (see GUERRILLA TACTICS) to determine whether or not the guards will be sent. If a company does not have guards, or if they feel the police would be better equipped to handle the situation, they may just call 911. The operator will talk to the police department's dispatcher and tell him/her that he has an "alarm drop" at such-and-such address. The police dispatcher will then notify a nearby unit, by radio, that he received a call from XYZ Security, and that he should go and check it out. The burglar, who also has a scanner preset to the police frequency, has also been notified, and is mysteriously gone when the police arrive. The freq of local police departments are easily obtained from fellow scanner listeners, or from Radio Shack frequency guides.
While the above will work in most cases, there may be times when a guard or policeman arrives, without the burglar knowing about it. If this occurs, it is usually during a routine check. This, however, is so incredibly rare that the chances of being caught in this manner are almost nil.
If a burglar thinks that he has a chance of getting caught, he may get authentic or counterfeit credentials and documents that provide a plausible excuse for his being there. Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber, even went so far as to make a complete, but phony, police uniform to throw everyone off his trail. This technique would obviously have its uses in housebreaking as well. Professional burglars also know better than to hide on the premises to avoid capture. After the guards and police arrive, and verify an actual point
of entry (POE), the police department will bring out its K9 unit to "sniff out" the place. Anyone hiding in the home or businesss will be found in a matter of minutes. It seems that thieves would rather take their chances as a moving target than to be a sitting duck by hidding under a bed. If one enters in a conventional manner, such as through the front door, he usually takes care to lock it behind him to give the appearance that nothing has been disturbed. If a guard or policeman arrives on the scene and doesn't notice anything suspicious, and doesn't see anyone inside, he will usually proceed no further, and write it off as a mechanical failure. But if the theif uses a crowbar to open a door or window then no one will think its a false alarm.
Closing and locking a door behind him also minimizes the risk of being caught during a routine door check, which is quite common in some cities. Finally, it should be known that professional burglars are acutely aware that most guards are either 18 and just out of high school, or over 50 and extremely out of shape. Either way, they are poorly paid and very indifferent to their company and clients. Thwy have no inherent loyalty toward their employers, and this generally provides an incredible opportunity for the resourceful burglar. It is obvious that five thousand dollars in the hand of a $4.75 per hour security guard will sometimes make him look the other way for an hour or so.
IV. TELEVISION MONITORS AND AUTO-DIALERS
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are used around the world to keep vigil over areas that are potential scenes of criminal activity. In many cases, a guard keeps watch over several monitors, or the cameras are connected to motion detectors, so that if anything is detected within the camera's field of view, it would scan for the intruder. The motion detector system is used when a guard has to monitor such a large number of cameras, it would be difficult to watch them all simultaneously. CCTVs are frequently seen in hotel lobbies, at bank teller windows, and other areas where the very presence of the camera deters crime. In reality, cameras do very little to guard against a proffessional burglary.
In the movies and on television, there is a varity of methods used to defeat the lowly CCTV camera. Some thieves spray shaving cream into or tape cardboard over the lens. MacGyver simply places a mirror in front of the camera, and the Mission: Impossible team taps into the coaxial cable, and delivers a phony picture to the Third World guard. Fortunately, or Unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, it is never quite that simple. CCTV cameras have the uncanny ability to penetrate seemingly opaque objects, therefore the shaving cream/cardboard method would probably not work. A mirror placed in front of a lens would be a definite giveaway for an observant guard that something was askew. Finally, the "tapping into the coax" trick would involve so many trial and error adjustments that no one could get it right the first time, let alone convince a guard that nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
The primary characteristic of a CCTV that allows for easy bypass is its outstanding visibility. This fact alone allows an observant thief to watch the scanning rate of the camera, and do his "work" during the periods when the camera is looking the other way. There are often attempts made to disguise a
CCTV, but any suspicious box aimed at a sensitive area is automatically assumed to be a surveillance camera. Sometimes video cameras or slow-speed Super-8mm cameras are hidden in liquor stores and gas stations, and are turned on by a hidden switch or foot pedal. These certainly won't deter crime, since the amateur criminal doesn't know they're there, nor will they apprehend many professional criminals, since a pro would obviously wear a mask or disguise during such an operation.
There are two more techniques for defeating the surveillance camera, and
their use depends om the manner in which it is monitored. If the camera is connected to a video-tape recorder, the lens may simply be covered with a glob of modeling clay, or any other moldable opaque substance. If this is done, no activity in the monitored area will be captured on film. If the camera is being monitored in real time by a guard or policeman, an FM oscillator can be used. If this device is brought anywhere near a TV monitor, the picture will be reduced to snow and stactic. This device is easy to find and goes for about $10 my H.T.H. staff got there's from JohnsonSmith catalog it goes under a device to fool your friends and mess-up the TV. Look for it in other electronic catalogs or magazines.
The auto-dialer is equally worthless in preventing professional burglary. The auto-dialer is a device that calls a centrsl station or police station on the telephone and deliveres a short pre-recordeed message that there is a burglary in progress. There may be other numbers listed, such as those of friends and neighbors, in case some of the other calls did not get through. Modern auto-dialers have a line-seizing mechanism that disallows jamming the line, by calling the residence prior to the housebreaking, for example. They are usually hidden and housed in a locked box for added protection, but even with these safeguards, th evalue of the auto-dialer as a security device, is practically nil. If the alarm that is connected to the dialer cannot be bypassed, the telephone lines cannot be cut, and the lock on the housing cannot be picked, I will give you another way to defeat this system. Since auto-dialers are silent to the homeowner as well as the burglar, they are party to many false alarms. This fact has promoted many cities to ban the use of auto-dialers, since so many police man-hours have been wasted responding to them. In cities that do allow them the homeowners have been advised to install abort switches in the home. At least one abort switch, which shuts the dialer off immediatly will be placed near the dialer, in the bedroom, or near the control panel. Of course some dialers have a simple on/off switch on them, and they must rely on concealement alone to beat the burglar. However in the average home, there are not too many places that one can hide something as large as an auto-dialer.
Perhaps the quickest way to defeat an auto-dialer is to simply erase the tape. Since the message is recorded on magnetic tape, an electromagnetic bulk eraser will leave the tape completely blank.
V. GUERRILLA TACTICS
There may be cases when you..oppss I mean when the burglar cannot bypass or avoid an alarm system, therefore he may have to resort to guerrilla tactics to accomplish his goal. When I say guerrilla, I mean a method of attack that is SO unorthodox, no one could possibly expect it. Guerrilla tactics are usually aimed at central station employees, or the central station itself, but they may be also used against the police department, if the need arises. Ideally, the central station would be a veritable fortress. The only security system that protects the central station is usually a TV camera at the front door, and a simple local alarm. The burglar could bug a police station and learn a great deal, such as information on potential targets or police schedules. (This also works for about anything else.. How do you think the High Tech Hoods gets me the down and dirty info for most files!?!?!) On the 4th of July one of my buddies lit 6 half sticks with extra long fuses (10 min long) in front of store front glasses and took off for the real target on the other side of town. When the sticks went off he was already at his target. The police used about 3 or 4 cars to make sure that those stores would not be looted while the robbery was taken place across town.