Saturday, February 07, 2009

How to Break In to the Math Building

The old math building had very low-tech security. Some of the outside doors were locked with a key (and could be opened by faculty with keys), and many of the ground floor windows were left open.

The new math building is about a block away and is very, very, very dangerous because it is near the bus stop, so it is kept locked with a slightly less low-tech system. When the door is locked, there's a magnet keeping it closed. Outside the door is a magnetic stripe reader (no RFID), and the stripe reader communicates with the hardware inside the door to turn off the magnet and allow in authorized people. Just inside the door is a motion detector. If you get near the door, the magnet will also turn off.

I'm guessing that if your accomplice turns off the switch on the gizmo that the magnet will turn off. Also likely, unplugging the whole thing will probably turn off the magnet. Otherwise, you just need to introduce a sparrow into the building during business hours (when the building is open), and every time it flies near the front door, it will unlock.