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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194397 Find in a Library
Title: Efficacy of Tamper Indicating Devices
Author(s): Roger G. Johnston Ph.D.; Anthony R. E. Garcia; Adam N. Pacheco
Corporate Author: University of California
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
United States of America
Date Published: April 2002
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: University of California
Los Alamos, NM 87544
Sale Source: University of California
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87544
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Test/Measurement
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Vulnerability Assessment Team at Los Alamos National Laboratory previously reported briefly on a broad vulnerability assessment of various "tamper-indicating seals;" the current report presents the results of a more thorough vulnerability assessment and analysis of 198 additional seals, plus new results for the seals previously discussed.
Abstract: Tamper-indicating seals are meant to detect unauthorized access, entry, or tampering. For the purposes of this study, a "passive" seal was defined as "never electrified with alternating current or direct current," and an "active" seal, by contrast, is electrified at some point in its use cycle. The seals tested ranged from inexpensive low-tech seals to expensive high-tech seals. Many are currently used in critical applications. A total of 289 different attacks, at least one per seal, were devised and demonstrated. In many cases, simple changes to a seal and/or to how it is used can dramatically improve its effectiveness; however, these changes are almost never implemented. All of the seals tested were defeated quickly by using low-tech methods available to almost anyone. The cost of the seal did not correlate well with its effectiveness, and high-tech seals were not more difficult to defeat than many low-tech seals. This report concludes that tamper detection can and should be more effective, given its importance in providing protection for the users of the various items being sealed. Better seals, more optimal use protocols, additional research, greater awareness of seal vulnerabilities, more critical thinking, increased sophistication by seal users, and better tamper-detection training are sorely needed. Study limitations are noted. 30 references
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Business security; Cargo security; Counter-terrorism tactics; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Product tampering; Retail business security; Security systems
Note: Downloaded April 25, 2002.
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