Security / Access PIN Keypads - red if giving protection

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Security / Access PIN Keypads - red if giving protection

Postby StefanW » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:06 pm

After the horror in Belgium this morning I was operating with a higher sense of awareness. Along my normal commute I noticed something unusual... all the security access PIN keypads at the end of that platform (protecting the tunnel) were lit up with green instead of the normal red. I mentioned my concern to the platform attendant / door flagger who seemed unconcerned and walked away.

I called Transit Police (617-222-1212) and reported that the access keypads were green and how I thought it was odd. The officer on the phone told me it was indeed abnormal - because they should be red - and that they would dispatch Transit Police to check it out ASAP.

Based on this I have a humble suggestion: if any of us encounter one of those access PIN keypads which is not lit up with red, alert an MBTA official / employee.

(I didn't take a picture because I didn't want that action itself to seem suspicious, and I'm not going to identify the station or platform in case the issue hasn't been resolved yet.)

Here's a photo from Wikimedia that shows the type of security access keypad: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... Tunnel.jpg

Image
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Re: Security / Access PIN Keypads - red if giving protection

Postby BandA » Tue May 03, 2016 1:20 am

So if you don't know the pin, motion detectors and cameras will alert security? And if you know the pin you can walk along the tunnel.
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Re: Security / Access PIN Keypads - red if giving protection

Postby CRail » Tue May 03, 2016 7:21 pm

It's a proxy card reader same as what you see in all sorts of access control applications. An authorized person tapping it temporarily deactivates the intrusion alarm sensors which are otherwise only passive to trains and rodents.
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Re: Security / Access PIN Keypads - red if giving protection

Postby StefanW » Wed May 04, 2016 6:22 pm

My understanding is that they use two-factor authentication - an RFID employee ID and a PIN. (Note the sign "Tap employee I.D.")

Regarding the specifics of the station platform where I saw them green (protection off) back in March... they are still green. Late last week I reported this again to Transit Police (this time via their mobile app) and they followed up with me later. They said the MBTA Security department has to send a repair team but in the meantime they are doing regular inspections of that tunnel section.

As I mentioned before, I suggest that if you see one of those keypads lit up with green and there's no obvious authorized personnel there, you should "say something".
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