Breaking into a local hotel

This story isn't anywhere near as nefarious or as sexually adventurous as it sounds, but it does give you something scary to think about.

This weekend, I was out with a friend when we stopped by a local hotel to visit and hang with the front desk employee.  Turns out one of the guest got locked out of their first floor room.  It wasn't because they forgot the key, it was because they card reader went bad.

They employee has a master device that is used to reprogram/override a given lock via a hidden comm port. Which is kinda scary as the technology is available on the open market.  But, that was failing to override the lock too.  The employee understood how to use the technology, but that particular door was being very insubordinate (a term often used to describe me).  I offered to help as I have a knack for accessing things I shouldn't.

Most of you know I am good with technology.  Before I was good with technology, I was good with opening other things, like doors, windows, and crappy locks.  I would love to tell you I whipped out a laptop and went all hacker on the lock.  I didn't.

Initially, I took a run at the door, but even this dated hotel had decent enough door jams that I couldn't pop the lock with a credit card or my pocket knife.  First off, that is all I had to work with. Second, I have opened plenty of stuff using one of those.  Third, I had no tools with me in my car.

The employee then said, well maybe the window is open. So we checked the window. It was locked.  The employee was quite discouraged at this point. I tried to open it with my pocket knife, but I was afraid I was going to break it.  My knife has been a good friend so I didn't want it to meet its end.

I have always had good luck with windows, so I asked if there was a flathead screw driver handy.  Upon the employee's return, I had a good sized flathead and a smaller one.  The windows at this place are an older spring pressure lock.  They are made to open from the inside by pushing down and sliding the window.  Attempts from the outside to push the lock up are met via a very hefty meal ledge. However, the weakness still lays in the spring loaded lock. While trying to push the lock open doesn't work, getting the spring to work for you is as easy as a level.  Applying pressure under the window forces the window up at an angle.  In turn, that causes the spring lock to flex out over the latch and you can slide the window open.

What is scary, is it probably took you longer to read this blog post that it did for me to open that window.  Once I had a screw driver, I had the window open in 30 seconds.

That is what I want you to walk away from this post knowing, you are only as secure as your weakest lock, window, blind spot, etc.  Furthermore, I am far from a pro.  I also usually have the hindrance of not being able to damage what I am trying to open.  Professional thieves don't have that worry.  You should know that security is an illusion, but it doesn't have to be an illusion that scares you.  I recommend you read a short book called "Secrets of a Super thief" by John MacLean. Parts of the book will seem dated, but there are some serious fundamentals to thinking like a thief that will put you on your way to protecting yourself and your property.  Don't buy the book, just google the title and you will get a torrent link or a free ebook site.  You can probably read the whole book in an hour or two.

If you aren't reading this on, you should be.

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