Are residential mailboxes secure enough?

Are residential mailboxes secure enough?
Mailbox FI 2
The most common in post-Soviet space is a mailbox, made in the form of a rectangular box, which is attached to the fence near the gate or the wall near the front door of the country house. Letters and correspondence enter the mailbox through a horizontal slit at the top of the item, and the contents are removed by opening its bottom, door or lid. Such a box is made of metal and less often of wood. It is most convenient to attach standard letterboxes to the fence so that the postman can easily deliver his correspondence. Also such a mail box is suitable for apartments. In this case it can be attached directly to the door. Historically, a street letterbox for a home in Europe or America has a radically different look. In these countries, mailboxes are used not only for receiving but also for sending letters. If the box contains letters to be sent, they are picked up by the postman and taken to the post office, after which they are delivered to the recipients. Accordingly, in order for the postman to see that there is mail in the box that needs to be delivered, some kind of sign had to be invented. In America, the issue was resolved with a checkbox. There is a small checkbox attached to the side of each mailbox – if it is omitted, it means there are no mails to be sent, but if the checkbox is raised, the postman must look inside. In addition, in western countries, a street mailbox is not attached to a fence or wall, but mounted on a lawn near the road, using a vertical support.
The shape of an ordinary American letterbox is like a horizontal container with a semicircular lid. In recent times, however, it has been rare in America to find a standard mailbox shape. The fact is that many American states hold annual competitions for the most original mailbox, which residents prepare with the utmost care. Therefore, in these states you can see mailboxes made in the form of animals, fairytale characters or even grand garden sculptures. A slightly different but no less interesting design of the best locking mailbox is used in the UK. Residents of this country try to adhere to stylistic unity in everything, so the characteristic English letterbox resembles a miniature house made of bricks or made of any other materials. In the UK, a street letterbox for cottages or houses is installed directly on the ground. Since in this country the territory of the country house is very rarely fenced, the box is near the front door.

Often, the mailbox belongs to the citizen who owns the housing to which the box belongs. In this case, any act of vandalism or layout of advertising leaflets at the request of the owner will be prosecuted. Naturally, a citizen will take care of his property and treat it accordingly, maintaining its reliability and appearance … . And as the fixed capital in any HMO is owned by the state, the management of this organization certainly not to the mailboxes. Although recently the homes have been transferred under the management of management companies, organizations – the situation with mailboxes also remains relevant.

Many residents of apartment buildings, in the nineties, wanted to protect the entrance, mailboxes, which in fact did not belong to them – from encroachments on them, through the installation of intercoms, organization of watch in the entrances. The first to fail was the organized watch, which instead of protecting the owners’ mailbox, slept in the workplace, and those who worked, in an era of rapid economic growth, considered their wages unworthy and left, so the watch in the entrances is now rare.
Intercoms also showed their second weak points. Everybody hoped that only they had the keys and nobody would get into the entrance except them. But it wasn’t so cloudless. Teenagers, who are most often vandals to the mailbox under some pretext call the residents of the entrance and ask for help to get into the entrance. The same is true for advertisers. Sometimes they just wait for someone to open the door and walk through it unobstructed – and here your mailbox is in their hands. You have to admit, if the people in the driveway were to be careful, some of them wouldn’t get to your mailbox. But even in this case, some of them would still have gotten to it, because in your entrance there is sure to be some “grandmother” ready to always help everyone and everything.


P.O. BoxWhat’s the attitude of the residents on “attempts” on their mailbox?

If with acts of vandalism everyone is clear and everyone understands that without radical changes in society, in the minds of young people this problem is not eradicated, then about the advertising that is placed in the mailbox every day – the residents have different views, but almost 90% of them negative.

According to a sociological survey conducted among the residents of Kazan, the question: How do you feel about the daily delivery of advertising in your mailbox?

The following answers were received:

  • 50% of respondents answered: – The mountains of advertising garbage that are placed in our mailbox are simply annoying.
    However, when asked, “Do you try to avoid the brand that your mailbox advertised? – 65% gave a clear answer of “yes.”
  • 30% of those surveyed said: – I consider it categorically unacceptable to send advertising leaflets to our mailbox, because several times along with this “trash” threw away important documents for us.
  • 15% of respondents said: – I think it’s necessary to be more polite about it and close your eyes to the fact that the heap of advertising that got into our mailbox, may be a potential burglar to say that you are away.
  • 5% of respondents said: – We need to get used to it, we live in a highly competitive environment and advertising is another source of information for a potential buyer.

As we see, there are not many people who approve of this type of mailing in their mailbox – only 5%. It turns out that advertising customers and performers work more for the “paper mill”, if for their own purposes.

Really, nothing protects my mailbox?

  • Strange as it may seem, the law says everything clearly, it just is not executed or is not executed in full.
  • Sending advertising via mailboxes cannot be banned in any way, because the state’s attitude towards this kind of advertising is not reflected in the “Law on Advertising”. But according to the Postal Communication Act.
  • Do not think that we do not pay anything in this case. To perform all this list of services, we pay a certain amount per month, which is included in the line of rent called: “Entrance service.”
  • Therefore, we have every right to apply to the court: either to return the funds or to demand that we perform our duties. Apparently, only in this case will our mailbox please us every day.

Is Sig Sauer that good?

SIG was founded as a wagon factory built in 1853 by Friedrich Peyer Hof, Heinrich Moser and Konrad Neher. After the factory won the contract to manufacture 30,000 rifles for Swiss Federal Ministry of Defense, the name was changed to Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft.

Today, SIG Sauer is the largest company of the Luc-Ortmeier holding, and one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world. Not so long ago the company tripled its staff and invested $18 million in production development.

According to the company itself, one third of the US police use SIG Sauer products.

SIG Sauer has also many scope models, here you can read a comparison of the top-selling products – Romeo 4 vs Romeo 5. Originally SIG Sauer was a brand name for pistols developed by SIG and manufactured in Germany by Sauer, and later in the USA. Since 2000, SIG Sauer is not only a brand name, but also a company with the same name.

The company is renowned for its well thought-out and quality weapons and regularly organises exhibitions every year:

Some of the new firearm innovations of the year 2020:

SIG Sauer P210 Carry pistol

P210 Carry

What the company showed us in Las Vegas was a little more than just a prototype. But it was also enough to warm up the interest of SIG fans! The new P210 Carry 9mm pistol is based on the P210 Target, which is essentially the second coming of the venerable and legendary P210, which has been in production since 1947 and is the benchmark for quality and precision.

Standard view of the new P210 Carry. It’s still a prototype.

New aggressive look with matte black finish, G10 black grip, SigLite tritium night sights, 4.1″ barrel (P210 Target is 5″), this P210 Carry is “bad guy”, but version based on great classics.

The new model features 8+1-round magazine, aluminum frame, front and rear cuts on the bolt with rounded edges for comfortable carrying, which enhances the effect of its immediate use.

Only the release will have to wait until mid-2020, when it will be available at a price from 1300 US dollars.

SIG Sauer P320 RXP pistol

P320 RXP

The “Collimator Revolution” by SIG took shape in the form of the first presented P320 RXP 9mm pistol. Available in 4 versions: Full-Size, Compact, XFULL, and XCOMPACT, the RXP pistol carries a factory preset ROMEO1PRO collimator. “The number one problem with installing collimator sights on guns is to clearly match the red dot to the hit point,” explains Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “SIG SAUER is the only manufacturer in the firearms industry that truly integrates the collimator and pistol into a single system right at the factory, ensuring the user does not need to configure any further.

The P320 RXP Full-Size and Compact Series are blowback operated pistols with barrel flip-up compensators, double-sided controls, detachable magazine locking and modular polymer grips. P320 XFULL and XCOMPACT RXP in addition to these features XSERIES have X-RAY3 Day/Night flip suppressor, XSERIES ergonomically improved handle module, flat trigger for clean 90 degree response, NITRON XSERIES bolt and extended double-sided lag lever. 17 or 10 rounds stainless steel magazines are available in full size versions, while compact RXP pistols are available with 15 or 10 rounds magazines. Barrel length is 4.7″ for both versions of P320 RXP Full Size and XFULL, 3.9″ for P320 Compact RXP and 3.6″ for XCOMPACT RXP.

In terms of optics, the SIG Sauer ROMEO1PRO Open Reflex 6MOA collimator comes with 12 brightness level settings and a TruHold Lockless Zeroing system designed to reduce kickback and quickly return to zero right after the shot is fired. The housing is made of aircraft grade aluminum to reduce corrosion, and the optics are IPX7 dust and waterproof. What’s more, the ROMEO1PRO carries aspherical lenses with a high quality super-modern coating, which provides excellent light transmission and absence of aberrations.

SIG Sauer Cross rifle and .277 Fury cartridge

SIG Cross

SIG Cross – universal rifle. SIG Cross rifle is also available with .277 Fury cartridge with hybrid sleeve.

The first SIG Sauer bolt action hunting rifle, manufactured in USA, Cross comes with new innovative .277 Fury cartridge with hybrid housing. Suffice it to say that SIG Sauer Cross was conceived as a universal rifle with hunting carbine characteristics, with sniper rifle accuracy.

In particular, it features the SIG precision-adjustable buttstock and the all-aluminum housing, which simplifies the movement. The rifle is available with 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win barrels, and will soon be available in .277 SIG Fury version with hybrid cartridge case. The .277 Fury caliber has a steel base and brass walls and is characterized by its unique long range piercing action.

Some countries even take this company’s weapons into the army, for example:

In September 2015, the US Army and Air Force initiated the XM17 Modular Handgun System. The purpose of the program was to find a replacement for the outdated M9 Beretta pistols. In January 2017, the winner was SIG Sauer M17 and its shortened version M18. Despite this, the US Marine Corps decided to postpone the replacement of the Beretta pistols, which will be officially completed next year.

The Marines are ready to accept the novelty. This means that from 2020 each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces will receive a single gun. It should be noted that the Marines were waiting for a reason – recently completed resource testing of the pistol. During the tests, 36,000 shots were fired from three guns. Despite 12 misfires, the M18 never failed the testers.

P320 rifle is based on recoil at short stroke. The special feature of the gun is its modularity. It is based on fire control unit, which includes trigger, ejector and four guide rails. Individual design can be “assembled” around these elements: there are three different sizes of polymer grips and three grip options, which allow changing the used caliber – 9×19 Parabellum, .357 SIG and .40 S&W. The US Army adopted the M17 with 120mm barrel, and the M18 with 98mm barrel. Both models are equipped with Picatinny barrel, which allows the installation of additional accessories – sights or tactical flashlights.

The company has won many tenders and is one of the best gun manufacturers. It’s not for nothing that it’s been praised.

Categories: Gun

How secure is e-mail?

How secure is e-mail?
Today we are talking about an infrequently touched but important topic – how secure are such communications and how to protect themselves when using email? We present you the best answer given by Bill Franklin, a former employee of Lavaboom’s secure mail service (the project closed in summer 2015).

Are there any secure email services, and what makes popular emails different in this regard?
E-mails are inherently unsafe. It was created for personal correspondence, but in reality emails are not much safer than a postcard.

Franklin says that when he sends an email from Oxford to a friend in San Francisco via Gmail to Yahoo! Mail, the message can be intercepted at least 7 times: on the sender’s computer, when it’s sent to a Gmail server, when it’s sent from Gmail to Yahoo! Mail, when it’s sent to a friend’s computer and finally to the recipient’s computer. Everyone knows that the chain is as strong as its weakest link, so even if both messengers do their best to secure their computers, they’ll still have to rely on Gmail and Yahoo!
White Email

Who might need to hack into a mailbox


Who might be interested in accessing someone’s mailbox? First of all, these are government organizations, the postal service provider and cybercriminals. Of course, there is no way to hide the mail from the mail service, the average user is also unlikely to be able to resist hackers. However, if Gmail has access to your account, then the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) also has it. And if NSA embeds a backdoor in the mail service, it can also be used by cybercriminals. Thus, the user needs to protect his account from all three groups of “interceptors” because if one of them gets access, the others can get it.

The reasons why they might want to hack into an email account:

  • Government agencies: mass surveillance and obtaining data on individuals;
  • Gmail: Scanning keyword letters for advertising;
  • Hackers: Sending spam, stealing bank data, stealing personal information – the list is limited only by the ingenuity of hackers who find new ways to make money using stolen personal information.

Below is a diagram by information security researcher Brian Krebs – it clearly shows that the average user’s mailbox is much more valuable than you might think.

Weak spots

Weak spots

There are many ways to intercept email at the seven access points listed above. Franklin explained how this could be done in his example. The fastest (this method takes about an hour) is to hack into the Cardiff base, where the transatlantic phone cable starts, install a node to intercept the email and wait for it to be sent.

The U.S. Homeland Security Agency has the ability to access the email box at all seven access points. And according to articles by Jacob Appelbaum and Glen Greenwald, NSA collection activities are not limited to these.

The cost of the program is about $20 million per year.

PRISM is a surveillance program launched by the U.S. National Security Agency (with the participation of the UK Government Communications Center), which is used, inter alia, to intercept emails. The largest email providers Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google were among the first to participate. And yet e-mail remains a more popular means of online communication than Facebook or any other service. So its importance for intelligence agencies is obvious. So, when sending an email, you must assume that it will end up on PRISM servers or other similar programs where “employees” can read it.

In addition to technical shortcomings in email security, we may also consider laws that protect the privacy of its users. A huge number of users send emails from US email services such as Gmail.

  • After 180 days, your emails on U.S. mail servers become the property of the United States.
  • Research has shown that 55% of U.S. employers read the emails of their employees.
  • It’s worth reading the story of the now discontinued Lavabit service, which was used by Edward Snowden. We can conclude that it is impossible to hide any email while it is on the server of an American company.
  • Read Glenn Greenwald’s “Hide Nowhere” series of reports.

Metadata, or simple data about data, is important. For example, the matadata of this response to Quora is the time it was published, the author’s details, how long he’s been on the site, the location, the browser he uses, his computer details, local time… in general, the list is quite long. There is even more metadata in the e-mails. The whole Internet is overflowing with it, and it is probably even more valuable than the data itself. In his stunning presentation “How the NSA betrayed the trust of the world – time for action” Mikko Hyppönen discusses the importance of metadata.

When you send an email, all metadata is sent with it. When you reply or forward an email, you automatically forward all the metadata from a previous email. For example, if more than one person is sharing an email, using any of the above capture methods, any interested person can easily access the whereabouts of all the people in the email, as well as learn the topic of the discussion without even reading the content of the email. You can read more about this in the material entitled “What metadata of your emails can tell NSA”.

It is also worth mentioning that by sending an email to Gmail, even if you are not a customer of Gmail, you automatically provide Google with all the information – and you do not need to accept its terms of service (which include reading your email). The same goes for other US email services.

How to keep your mailbox secure


So, all of the above basically says that e-mail is insecure, data and metadata can tell a lot about you, and it is impossible to save yourself from invasion of your privacy. But it’s not that hopeless. As Edward Snowden said, “The times when protecting the privacy of citizens was completely dependent on the state are a thing of the past. We no longer have to ask the government for privacy, that’s our right.”

“All intelligence agencies – absolutely everyone – are afraid of simple and safe communication tools,” says Jacob Applebaum.

Asymmetric encryption is the most secure and simple solution, but there’s more. All you have to do is take a few simple steps to significantly improve the security of your email communications.

Step 1. Encryption

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a program that makes the content of emails meaningless to everyone but the sender and the recipient. It is suitable for some very easy to use email clients. More details about it can be read here.
Step 3: You should not trust the postal provider.

Opting out of U.S. mail services is a good start, but ideally you should use mail providers with zero-disclosure. Zero Disclosure means that the server does not have access to the source data. You can find more information about this here.
Step 2. You shouldn’t use American emails.

When choosing a postal service, you should also consider the geographical factor, but you should not rely on it entirely. In Germany and Switzerland, for example, privacy laws are more effective than in the US or UK. It is therefore safer to use mail clients in other countries, such as Korean Naver.
Step 4: Mail on your server (it’s not that difficult)

Running your own mail server is not as difficult as it seems. This way, you can reduce the risk of hacking into your email account. This means that the user himself will administer his own mailbox and if someone needs to retrieve its contents, they will have to create a backdoor for that particular server. The likelihood that someone will need you is not very high.