From Bruce Schneier’s Crypto-Gram of 15 July 2004:
There was a single guard watching the X-ray machine’s monitor, and a line of people putting their bags onto the machine. The people themselves weren’t searched at all. Even worse, no guard was watching the people. So when I walked with everyone else in line and just didn’t put my bag onto the machine, no one noticed.
It was all good fun, and I very much enjoyed describing this to FinCorp’s VP of Corporate Security. He explained to me that he got a $5 million rate reduction from his insurance company by installing that X-ray machine and having some dogs sniff around the building a couple of times a week.
I thought the building’s security was a waste of money. It was actually a source of corporate profit.
The point of this story is one that I’ve made in ‘Beyond Fear’ and many other places: security decisions are often made for non-security reasons.