Reply to post: Re: Security by obscurity, yawn

Hidden Linux kernel security fixes spotted before release – by using developer chatter as a side channel


Re: Security by obscurity, yawn

Having read the paper you linked to, the results were inconclusive. However nowhere did they say alarms might make things worse.

If there is one quote which can sum up more or less the results, it would be this one:

"Given previous research findings suggesting that they have been effective deterrents, it would be premature to conclude that domestic burglar alarms are (or have become) counter-productive and hence that their installation should no longer be encouraged."

So research so far shows alarms do work as deterrents, the paper just refines that to "they either help, or do nothing". They don't seem to make things worse overall.

They interviewed burglars who were in prison, and "in the community". The ones "in the community" overall seemed to avoid houses with alarms, while the ones in prison didn't (or would actively target them, the logic being there is more valuable stuff in there worth protecting that can be stolen).

From what I can see, the only time your statement matches, is with the interviews of burglars in prison.

However, the sample is biased due to the fact they are in prison (i.e. they were caught).

All that tells us is that there is a higher likelihood that burglars willing to rob an alarmed house will be caught, convicted, and end up in prison, which for me is another plus point for having an alarm.

In theory an alarmed house may be seen as a more "juicy target", but as stated in the paper, whether a house is alarmed or not is not the highest concern when looking to burgle it. Rather how visible the house is from neighbours and public, and whether it is occupied, seem to be the big things burglars look for.

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