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Red Teaming the WBF / ACBL / USBF / EBL .

The recent cheating scandals have clearly demonstrated that significant amounts of cheating is occurring at the top levels of the game.


Unfortunately, audio-video surveillance and other such methods that were sufficient to catch low-tech cheats like P+S are grossly insufficient to cope with more sophisticated pairs who are using modern electronics.  (I firmly believe that the only reason that we haven't detected some pairs using electronics to cheat is that we haven't bothered to look).


Dealing with more sophisticated methods of cheating will require radically rethinking the security models that are used to detect / deter cheating as well as the way in which we conduct major tournaments.  Sadly, I don't believe that anything is going to happen on this front unless we publicly  demonstrate how grossly inadequate the existing security systems are.

I propose running the following experiment.

1. I will provide a pair of transmitters and receivers small enough to fit into a pocket or be build into a shoe

2. The transmitter will be configured to send a simple signal over a period of time (say, 30 minutes or so)

3. I would like to find a pair of volunteers who are willing to carry said devices into combat.

Please note: The transmitter and receiver won’t be wired into any kind of IO device. They can’t be used to send a user generated signal. There is absolutely no way that they could be used to cheat during an actual event. The only purpose will be to see whether the individuals administering top level tournaments would be able to detect a more nefarious version of the same technology.

The plan would be as follows

1. Send a pair into the tournament

2. If they get “caught”, this is the best of all worlds. (The sealed nature of the devices and the foreknowledge of the team captain will be enough to protect the pair in question)

3. If they don’t get caught, immediately publish the findings to individuals responsible for running major events and then publish to the world at large six months later. My hope is that the folks running the tournaments will use the intervening time to improve the physical security of their systems as to avoid complete embarrassment six months later.

(FWIW, even if the tournament organizers implement some kind of security system, I think that "red team" type exercises need to be run on an ongoing basis to validate that the security system performs as advertized)








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