Behind a Gang of Diamond Thieves [Robbers]

April 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I love these articles. The lastest describes a well-trained gang of diamond thieves and their escapades.

Each member of the gang did his or her job perfectly. The attractive young woman seduced the son of the jewelry store owner in Rome to find out where the safe was in the owner’s house. She also discovered that the owner needed builders for repairs. Some of the others secured the renovation contract and cased the house. The get-away driver spent weeks learning every one-way road and stop sign in downtown Rome. And eventually the safe-cracker, the smallest in the group, hid himself inside a false-bottomed chest that the others left on the balcony of a bedroom where the safe was located.

As luck would have it, he didn’t even have to break into the safe, which was hidden behind a painting. The jeweller’s other son left it open for 15 minutes, plenty of time for the diminutive safe-cracker to remove the diamonds and make his escape to the street, where the driver was waiting for him. Back in their rented apartment in Ostia, near the Fiumicino airport outside Rome, the gang met up and celebrated.

Inside a world-class ring of diamond thieves via Neatorama

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Another Uncrackable Code [Story Time]

April 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Another tale of an uncrackable code.

The former Air Force sergeant wore a backpack on his bearish 6′5″ frame; a sawed-off shovel handle stuck out of the top as he made his way along soft creek beds, avoiding hiking trails. Inside the pack was a night-vision monocle and a pile of classified material he had stolen from his longtime employer, theNational Reconnaissance Office — the US agency that manages the nation’s spy satellites.

Tale of a Would-Be Spy, Buried Treasure, and Uncrackable Code

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A Code That’s Uncrackable [Code]

April 15th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

A code that is uncrackable. Unsolvable. Intriguing…

Almost 20 years after its dedication, the text has yet to be fully deciphered. A bleary-eyed global community of self-styled cryptanalysts—along with some of the agency’s own staffers—has seen three of its four sections solved, revealing evocative prose that only makes the puzzle more confusing. Still uncracked are the 97 characters of the fourth part (known as K4 in Kryptos-speak). And the longer the deadlock continues, the crazier people get.

Mission Impossible: The Code Even the CIA Can’t Crack

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Fall Through Ice and Survive [Survival]

April 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

You just fell through thin ice. Struggling to get out, you keep a cool (no pun intended) head and remember the following article:

Roll away from the hole. Don’t stand up right away. The ice around the hole may be weak, so you want to distribute your weight over as much area as possible. Roll away from the hole or crawl on your belly until you are several feet from the hole. After that, you can crawl on your hands and knees until you are certain you are out of danger. Only then should you stand up.

How to Survive a Fall Through Ice via Lifehacker

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An Intelligent Accent That Masks Origins [Disguise]

April 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Ever wanted to speak and sound intelligent, but make sure that no one knew where you were from? This might occur in a situation when you are working as an agent. The following can be very helpful for masking your origins and creating a intelligent facade.

[Y]ou get the accent in one of three ways:

  1. Learn the accent on purpose (actors used to do that).
  2. Grow up or live on both sides of the Atlantic (but that can lead to even stranger accents, like those of Loyd Grossman and Madonna).
  3. Pick it up at a top boarding school in America before the 1960s.


Transatlantic English goes something like this:

  1. Start with a mainstream American accent.
  2. Drop your r’s at the end of words, like in “fear” and “winner”.
  3. Say all your t’s as t’s not d’s (like in “water” and “butter”).
  4. Use RP (British) vowels. So “dance” becomes “dahns”.

Transatlantic accent via Neatorama

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How to Disguise Your Walk [Change Your Gait]

April 10th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

In Little Brother, a novel set in the future by Cory Doctorow, there are cameras that detect a person’s gait so that computer can track the person’s whereabouts. But in the present, all we have are regular video cameras and security teams. So how could changing your walk possible help you? Actually it can. As humans, we can almost instinctively tell who someone is just by watching them walk from a far. Our walk is very identifiable by not only friends, but strangers and computers.

There are many different ways to change your walk, including a change in sneakers, but stay away from methods that simply use mind over matter. Unfortunately, our walk is so instinctive, that moment we stop concentrating on it, it returns to your original strut. The best method, in my opinion, is inserting a pebble into your shoe or sock, which will manage the change in walks for you. This method was also discussed in Little Brother.

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Secure Your Computer

April 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Our sister site, Squealing Rat, wrote a couple of articles on computer security. Enjoy.

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The Key Master [Locksmith]

April 9th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Another mastermind, this time, for the good.

He’s a professional lock breaker, a man obsessively—perhaps compulsively—dedicated to cracking physical security systems. He doesn’t play games, he rarely sees movies, he doesn’t attend to plants or pets or, currently, a girlfriend. Tobias hacks locks. Then he teaches the public how to hack them, too.

The Ultimate Lock Picker Hacks Pentagon, Beats Corporate Security for Fun and Profit

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A Profile of a Master-thief [The Steal]

April 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Mmmmm. I love this kind of story. The full story of a brilliant thief, his empire and his demise.

Blanchard wasn’t listening. He was noting the motion sensors in the corner, the type of screws on the case, the large windows nearby. To hear Blanchard tell it, he has a savantlike ability to assess security flaws, like a criminal Rain Man who involuntarily sees risk probabilities at every turn. And the numbers came up good for the star. Blanchard knew he couldn’t fence the piece, which he did hear the guide say was worth $2 million. Still, he found the thing mesmerizing and the challenge irresistible.

Art of the Steal: On the Trail of World’s Most Ingenious Thief

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Build an Alias, Step 1: Find a Name [Disguise]

April 6th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Need a disguise quick? First, you need a name. Having trouble finding a good name? First, look around you and see if you can find some an object you can use as a name. For example, as I look around myself now, I see a pencil with the word “Dixon” on it and a note to self that says to reinstall OS X. My new alias could be Oz (from OS) X. Dixon. But, if you fail at this task, you could try the always helpful online name generators, my favorite being Fake Name Generator.

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