Bypassing the Security Features at Walgreen’s

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While shopping for batteries at Walgreen’s, I noticed that several of the “packs” of batteries were locked. Meaning – they had a kind of barrier at the end of each hook, so that you couldn’t really remove them unless someone came and removed the impediment.

For me to get some batteries, I had to press a button that was nearby, on a column. I waited for about 30-45 seconds, and an employee showed up. She asked what I wanted, and my (stupid) reply was that “I wanted some batteries.”

When I pressed the button, there was a message broadcast across the store that said “Customer needs assistance in the battery aisle,” so I felt that it was pretty obvious what I was after.

After assessing that things were locked, the woman then yelled out to one of the other women at the cash register. She asked if they had a key, because she didn’t have one.

On realizing that no one nearby had a key for the security feature, she then asked me “Is it ok if I tear it?”

I said yes, and she just tore one of the packs and handed it to me.

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In line, I was looking down on this thing – thinking that that was a lot of procedure for not a lot of security. Part of me wanted to ask if I could, in the future, do the same thing. But that felt like a kind of smart-ass question, so I didn’t end up asking.

Instead, I guess I did a kind of smart-ass recap instead.

Related:
Everything is Broken: On Software, Security, and All the Flaws Therein
Learning About the Security Wand in Millennium Park
Never a Dull Moment

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