Wet paper bag or industrial safe?

A quick post this time (I promise!)

Pop Quiz, hotshot. What's more secure:

(i) a wet paper bag holding a couple of stale tic-tacs (site requires Flash); or

(ii) an industrial-strength safe holding $1M in diamonds?

Is security a property of the object itself (wet paper versus thick steel), or of people's disposition towards it (indifference versus greedy desire)?


Comments (3)
  1. Garrett Serack says:

    Um, niether.

    I wouldn’t classify security as a feature of how bad it’s wanted–In order to do that you then have to include it’s context. Imagine your ‘bag’ and ‘safe’, even with the door wide open, and dimonds on display, if the attacker is a bear, the bear likely doesn’t care about the diamonds at all, and he may be concerned about the minute amount of sugar hanging about it the wet bag.


    Context is a powerful modifier towards security my friend. In order to be truly secure you would have to accept a couple of criteria:

    1. Regardless of (current) desire, the target of protection should be secured.

    2. Regardless of the skill or classification of the attacker, the target should be secured.

    So, in reality, I’m not sure either one of your cases is truly secure 😉

  2. Peter Torr says:

    I think .TEXT just gobbled up my comment.

    Isn’t what you’re talking about (the hungry bear) just its disposition towards the objects? Perhaps "context" is a better word, but I think we’re talking about the same thing.

  3. Garrett Serack says:

    Mmmm. I see your point.

    I guess I was looking at it from *my* (fitting into the category of people) perspective first: Which would I rather want, the tic-tacs or the diamonds…. That’s when I thought about maybe the attacker doesn’t have the same values as I do, which was where the contextual argument came from.

    What I’m trying to get across, is that I’m not sure that security is a function of it’s desire in any case–isn’t that leveraging security by obscurity? I guess I’m trying to say "not option two" from your original post… Not that option 1 is neccasarily the opposite of option 2 anyway.

    Looking back at my post again, I’m thinking that I have muddied my own waters… I’m blaming the week-old egg-nog. :p

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