Physical security maxims from Argonne National Laboratory


12 Responses to “Physical security maxims from Argonne National Laboratory”

  1. ill lich says:

    “Feynman’s Maxim” comes from Richard Feynman’s interest/hobby of lock-picking at Los Alamos. He often pointed out to his managers how easy it was to pick locks there, and they thanked him by citing him as a security threat.

  2. Scuba SM says:

    My dad taught me a very important rule when I was fairly young: Always make sure you are a less attractive target than the next guy.

    That little maxim works on a surprisingly broad range of things, from avoiding speeding tickets to preventing your stuff from being stolen. No one will ever be able to stop a truly determined attacker, but if you follow the little maxim, you’ll be fine the vast majority of the time. It’s also contains a surprising amount of depth, as there are hundreds of ways to make yourself a less attractive target in any given situation.

    Please note that this maxim does not work well in dating situations.

  3. russ3llr says:


    Nope, read that back several times now and other than your italics I can’t see any difference between your version and theirs (or anything wrong with either).

    A little help…?

  4. russ3llr says:

    Sorry…got it now. The internets make me lazy – feed me with a SPOON, damn your eyes!

  5. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    Clarity thy name is Toby.

  6. Sharon McEachern says:

    Ask me if I feel secure now. That’s okay, I didn’t feel all that secure before.

    For some reason these maxims I liken to Sebastian, the stray tomcat I took in four months ago. Although he’s been safe, warm, fed and received lots of attention and cuddles, mentally he’s still a struggling stray. He’s fearful, cannot get enough food and cries all the time.

    I think members of the Vulnerability Assessment Team (Seals) may be suffering from similar ailments and are mentally/emotionally vulnerable and fearful. But, that’s their job. Their paranoia may actually help them perform that job better. And, no, I don’t want their job.

    Sharon McEachern

  7. Toby says:

    Insider Risk Maxim: Most organizations will ignore or seriously underestimate the threat from insiders.

    Doesn’t the Argonne Lab have a proofreader on staff, among all those untrustworthy insiders?

  8. jahknow says:


  9. bardfinn says:

    Which is why I no longer work even tangentially in security.

  10. Phikus says:

    Can’t wait to try on my new TSA uniform… For Halloween, of course!

  11. VVelox says:

    Takes One to Know One: The fourth most common excuse for not fixing security vulnerabilities is that “our adversaries are too stupid and/or unresourceful to figure that out.”

    This reminds me of the ISP I use to work.

  12. Wubby says:

    What is great about these is them many apply to so many other situations:

    Schneier’s Maxim #2: Control will usually get confused with Security.

    That can easily be applied to the political sphere.

    Rohrbach’s Maxim: No security device, system, or program will ever be used properly (the way it was designed) all the time.

    This could be applied to the law.

    Etc ETc ETC

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