The books, journals, and other resources listed below are a ongoing list that Rifts’ staff curates.

We have found these books particularly useful and insightful for our research and products and think we should share them with the world. Over time we will be adding and removing resources. If you have any questions or suggestions for us to review and list don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]

Defeating Burglar Alarms: U.S. Military Report on the Technology and Weaknesses of Alarms by Warcry Communications ($19.11)

Defeating Burglar Alarms explains burglar alarms in simple terms, and how thieves bypass them. First published as a military report, Defeating Burglar Alarms provides the best available explanation of the technological principles and weaknesses of all alarms in popular use. Every commonly used burglar alarm is analyzed for its detection method, and ways the alarm can be bypassed

Locks Safes and Security: An International Police Referenceby Marc Weber Tobias ($208.95)

Detailed and technical explanations on the contraction, theory, bypass, forensic examination, standards & testing, and analysis of modern locking mechanisms and security containers, as well as the evolution of protective devices and the methods used to overcome them. Has modern, relevant information on devices now available with in-depth detailing of their differences, effectiveness, and workability. “This book goes way beyond the basic needs of a locksmith or technician into the realm of academic instruction into all aspects of physical device security.”

Color Atlas of Forensic Toolmark Identification by Nicholas Petraco ($110.10)

Forensic expert Nicholas Petraco moves toolmark examination from an art to a science. The first part of the book contains an anthology of tried and true methods, procedures, and traditional techniques. The second section contains a compilation of commonly used hand tools and the marks they typically produce.

Intrusion Detection Systems, Second Edition, by Robert Barnard ($79.07)

This book has long been considered the most important reference for intrusion detection system equipment and implementation. In this revised and expanded edition, it goes even further in providing the reader with a better understanding of how to design an integrated system. The book describes the basic operating principles and applications of the equipment in an easy to understand manner. Written for those security directors, consultants, and companies that select the equipment or make critical decisions about security systems design.

High-Security Mechanical Locks: An Encyclopedic Reference by Graham Pulford ($77.82)

Comprehensively surveys and explains the highly technical area of high security locks. Over 100 different locks are presented, organized into 6 basic types. Each chapter introduces the necessary concepts in a historical perspective and further categorizes the locks. This is followed by detailed ‘how it works’ descriptions with many pictures, diagrams and references. The descriptions are based on actual dissections of the real locks. The scope is limited to key operated mechanical locks, thus keyless combination locks and digital locks are not covered. “The sensitive area of picking and bypassing of locks is dealt with only at a high level without giving detailed information that would be unacceptable in the wrong hands.”

Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief by Bill Mason and Lee Gruenfeld ($11.99 Kindle; $13.46 paperback)

The true-life adventures of jewel thief Bill Mason, who had a long and successful career. Starting in his early 20s in the 1960s, Mason stole valuable jewels from the famous and the affluent, using his wits and athletic ability to take advantage of supposedly burglar-proof security. His crimes, recollected in engrossing detail, involved careful planning and research, but he never fails to credit luck and simple human carelessness (almost every heist seems to feature at least one unlocked door or window). Mason’s chutzpah is best illustrated by his confession to an unsolved burglary that victimized the then-boss of the Cleveland Mafia.

Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing: Materials, Processes, and Systems by Mikell P. Groover ($212.50)

A modern, all-inclusive look at manufacturing processes but also provides substantial coverage of engineering materials and production systems. It follows a more quantitative and design-oriented approach than other texts in the market, helping readers gain a better understanding of important concepts.

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 94th Edition edited by William M. Haynes ($151.49)

A classic, and the most accessed and respected scientific reference in the world. An authoritative resource consisting of tables of data, its usefulness spans every discipline.

We recommend any edition after #85; the information doesn’t change much except for new discoveries - we can tell you for a fact that with its tables as a stalwart reference for when you’re in the lab, this book is indispensable.

The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals edited by Marydale J O’Neil ($119.99)

The definitive reference work for scientists and professionals looking for authoritative information on chemicals, drugs and biologicals. For the chemist, it’s a go-to “bible” with over 10,000 monographs of information relating to compounds of significance in research, commerce and environmental impact.

Machinery’s Handbook: A Reference book for the Mechanical Engineer, Draftsman, Toolmaker and Machinist
 by Erik Oberg ($30)

Basically an entire library on the topic of machining. It’s a great machine shop reference - very timeless (except for modern CNC methods).

Engineering Formulas by Kurt Gieck and Reiner Gieck ($23.31)

“Everything you learned (or should have learned) while getting your engineering degree.” A revision of the famed pocket guide giving engineers, scientists, technicians, and students thousands of essential technical and mathematical formulas and hundreds of diagrams to simplify and speed their calculations.

Pocket Ref, 4th Edition by Thomas Glover ($11.48)

The range of facts in this book are mind-blowing - from sizing wire for electrical equipment installation to knowing the rank of Coast Guard Officers by their insignia, and including from calculations for area and volume to which size welding rods to use, this book covers it all.

Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems 2nd Edition

by Ross J. Anderson ($65.49)

One of the world’s foremost authorities on security engineering, presents a comprehensive design tutorial that covers a wide range of applications. Designed for today’s programmers who need to build systems that withstand malice as well as error (but have no time to go do a PhD in security), this book illustrates basic concepts through many real-world system design successes and failures. Topics range from firewalls, through phone phreaking and copyright protection, to frauds against e-businesses. Anderson’s book shows how to use a wide range of tools, from cryptology through smart cards to applied psychology. As everything from burglar alarms through heart monitors to bus ticket dispensers starts talking IP, the techniques taught in this book will become vital to everyone who wants to build systems that are secure, dependable and manageable. This book got Rift’s founder really into looking at physical security problems and provided a crucial baseline framework for perspective on nearly everything related to physical security.

And if you want to save some money get the 1st Edition. Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems 1st Edition by Ross J. Anderson ($17.58)

Timer, Op Amp, and Optoelectronic Circuits & Projects ($12.30) by Forest Mims III

Rift recommends any and all of the electrical engineering handbooks by Forest Mims - this is just of one his many great books. A notebook, it is a compilation of three of Mims’s best-selling notebooks: 555 Timer IC Circuits; OpAmp Projects; and Optoelectronics. This Engineer’s Mini Notebook features more than two dozen 555 timer circuits that you can build, 50 operational amplifier (OpAmp) circuits, and a wide range of optoelectronic circuits and projects, including many LED and lightwave circuits.

The Art of Electronics by Pail Horowitz and Winfried Hill ($101.06)

The authoritative text and reference on electronic circuit design, both analog and digital, this book revolutionized the teaching of electronics by emphasizing the methods actually used by circuit designers — a combination of some basic laws, rules of thumb, and a large bag of tricks. The result is a largely nonmathematical treatment that encourages circuit intuition, brainstorming, and simplified calculations of circuit values and performance.

Objectified (2009 film; $15.93/DVD) directed by Gary Hustwit

A documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. In his second film, director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica) documents the creative process of some of the world s most influential product designers, and looks at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets.