Rift Recon

Inaugural ‘Tech Lab’ a Roaring Success at Oslo Freedom Forum 2015

Last week, the 2015 Oslo Freedom Forum united hundreds of international voices to address some of the world’s most critical human rights issues with the goals of challenging ideas and implementing change. The Rift Recon Team was on site running the conference’s first Tech Lab, which was designed to advise the attending activists, journalists, attorneys, artists, government officials, and other warm bodies on sensitive issues of security, privacy, and anonymity.


“This year’s company presence was markedly different from last year’s,” said Rift Recon CEO Eric Michaud, “Last year we combined a presentation with subsequent focus groups, but we discovered an incredible demand for extensive individualized attention and for competent security practitioners to be present in an ‘on-call’ manner. We then pitched the concept of a “tech lab” to OFF and began planning for the next phase.”


CEO Eric Michaud, Intelligence Instructor Brian O’Shea and Web Application Security Specialist Mike Fauzy worked together over a ten-hour period to address the concerns of a diverse array of inquiring minds, all with the common goal of attacking human rights violations. The team walked attendees through modified risk assessments to determine unique threat levels; probing for adversarial information, personal security capabilities, perceived danger to life, information on past security breaches, and more.

“We knew that presenting a trifecta of experts in their respective fields was critically important,” noted Brian O’Shea, “Unfortunately there tends to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to working with at-risk populations, when in fact their needs vary extensively and require tailored advice. For example, if we’re speaking to secure communication, some people aren’t using the internet at all and are exclusively sharing information face-to-face, while some are operating in a country where the prevalent phone company is targeting them, ensuring none of their phone communications are secure. You can’t provide those two parties with the same canned advice – the stakes are high, and you’re apt to get people killed.”


Rift Recon is in the process of following up with a handful of at-risk individuals they attended to at OFF and are busy laying the groundwork for an increased focus on human rights issues for the remainder of the year.

“We feel privileged to be welcomed into the trusted community that the Human Rights Foundation facilitates,” Michaud remarked, “We’re honored to be in a position to meet the needs of so many global pioneers.”


For more information on this year’s Oslo Freedom Forum, visit their website for  press, upcoming events, and videos of this year’s speakers.

– Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

Rift Recon to Host Tech Lab at 7th Annual Oslo Freedom Forum

Tomorrow kicks off the seventh annual Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) hosted by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a non-profit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies. At last year’s revolutionary conference Rift Recon traveled across the world to present a comprehensive security workshop to the crowds of rights defenders, scholars, dissidents, policymakers, Nobel Laureates,
visionaries, heads of state, journalists, and other activists. Due to the undeniable popularity of the workshop and the demand for more individualized attention to specific incidences of threat and vulnerability, Rift Recon returned to OFF this year in a refurbished capacity.

On Monday May 25th from 11:00-19:30 the team, consisting of CEO Eric Michaud, Intelligence Instructor Brian O’Shea and Web Application Security Specialist Mike Fauzy, will be receiving conference attendees, speakers, staff and sponsors in the 7th Floor Conference Center during a day-long “Tech Lab”.


My experience [at OFF] last year was incredibly enlightening,” said Michaud, who has advised on physical security, lockpicking, and hackerspaces for over a decade, “I was introduced to a number of people who were doing innovative global work, operating at a very high risk level while practicing minimal security measures. That’s terrifying! We want to provide the people fighting for our freedom with accessible, actionable ways to promote 360 degrees of security so that their voices can continue to be heard.”

When a layman hears the word “adversary”, they may think of a competitive coworker or a neighbor with a grudge. In human rights work, that adversary could be an oppressive dictatorship or a violent military regime, and activists must be proactive about educating themselves on preventative security practices and measures.

“Oftentimes with human rights work, the stakes are very high and the adversaries are very talented,” noted Fauzy, who has 15 years of combined experience in software development and Information Security,
“You have to have a clear understanding of who your threat agent is and what their capabilities and resources are, as well as accurately assess your own resources and capacity to defend yourself.”

Tech Lab participants are encouraged to arrive with specific inquiries in mind. They will first be filtered through introductory questions designed to highlight their priorities and determine whether their threats are predominantly physical, cyber, or social in nature. They will then be directed to the appropriate specialist(s) and complete a more thorough risk and vulnerability assessment before receiving customized advice and resource referrals. If necessary, more detailed follow-up appointments will be scheduled on site.

“The number one reason secure measures are not applied is because people are insecure about their own ability to implement them,” remarked O’Shea, who has spent over 20 years in the field of investigations and intelligence, “Knowledge is empowering – if you let yourself be intimidated by the unknown, you’re exposing yourself as a target. People like soft targets, not hard targets. The more expensive you are to go after, the less adversaries will be tempted to attack.”

Tech Lab visitors who are less concerned about a particular threat but curious about generally improving their security skills will also have the opportunity to attend a more informal session with multiple Rift Recon specialists later on in the week.

“These days I have to remind folks that security goes much farther than just downloading an application or installing a program,” Michaud pointed out, “We’re changing people’s idea of how security works. We’re here without agenda – we just want to help people.” 

– Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

Introducing the Red Team Kit Micro


At almost three years and counting, Rift Recon has done our best to
establish ourselves as an innovative force in what we see as a market in
need.  After getting notes from countless security auditors, testing
numerous products ourselves and excising inefficiencies, we
decided that now is the time to reveal what we’ve been working on for
so long:

Introducing the Red Team Kit Micro, in partnership with Hard Case Survival.

makes the Red Team Kit Micro so special is a number of significant,
intentional choices in design. It’s exceptionally versatile, and is both
our smallest and most accessible kit yet. We know you’ll fall in love
with it!


The RTK Micro Includes:

  • Custom Cordura bag that blends in with all your normal gear, and even most formal wear!
  • Removable
    velcro retention loops and pockets for a variety of tools: Which means if you don’t need a tool or need more space, TAKE IT OUT!
  • New
    tools like the American Padlock 700/2000 series bypass, Brockhage Pick
    Gun,  Bump Hammer w/ Rift Recon Basic Bump Keys, and many more!
  • Padded carry handles for all day and night use!

Enjoy fast, flexible shipping and packaging options:

  • Ships in a FedEx Flat Rate box!
  • Upgradeable!
  • Unlike our other more complex RTKs, the Micro ships within a few days. Often an order can be processed overnight!


philosophy at Rift Recon is “Everything you need, nothing you don’t”,
which goes to say that if we don’t use it, why should we press you to?
You’ll never be coerced into purchasing anything excessive or
arbitrary; you’ll always see actionable use for the tools and kits we
provide. We do hope you enjoy our new kit as much as we already do, and
we welcome your reviews and feedback at [email protected]

The Red Team Kit Micro is available to buy here, and ship today.

-Eric Michaud

CEO/Founder at Rift Recon

Art of Escape Featured in ILOC Summer 2015 Issue

Investigative Locksmith Brian Denyer has been
writing and illustrating articles about antique locks, restraints, and
methods of escape for Canada’s Institutional Locksmiths Organization of Canada (ILOC) since its inception. ILOC is a national not-for-profit trade organization with members across North America, and was created to help fill a void in the Institutional and In-House Locksmith and Security communities. The group
shares resources, facilitates professional communication and support, conducts trainings and seminars, and publishes a quarterly magazine available for free to the general public. 

For their recently-released Summer 2015 issue, Denyer wrote a comprehensive investigative article on Urban Kidnapping and Hostage Escape. He covers specialized personal safety training for potential targets, gathering counter intelligence for escape from the hostage team, how to stay free through security awareness, and much more. Denyer conferred with Rift Recon during the research phase of his article preparation, and we’re honored to be listed among valued sources and resources. Specifically cited are Rift’s Urban Escape and Evasion (UEE) classes, including the renowned Art of Escape course.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of ILOC’s magazine as much as we did! Scroll forward to Page 9 for the beginning of Brian’s article!

– Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

Rift Recon’s Art of Escape Featured In Black Belt Magazine


Best-selling American novelist Barry Eisler was an exceedingly precocious student in one of the first Rift Recon Art of Escape courses last year in San Francisco. Unbeknownst to us at the time, Eisler was not just hungry for knowledge – he was ravenous. The Art of Escape was only one in a long series of defense and survival trainings that Eisler embarked on, and he recently published a comprehensive piece in Black Belt Magazine detailing his experiences. For the entire story, be sure to pick up a print copy of Black Belt or subscribe today!


– Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

Now Buy Emergency Handcuff Keys in Bulk!

Exciting news! We will now be offering our Emergency Handcuff Keys, one of our customer favorites, at larger order volumes! 

Previously only offered in pairs, you can now purchase 1 unit for 5.95, 2 for 9.95, 4 for 18.95, 10 for 45.95, and 20 for 79.95.

The strong universal handcuff key sits in the center of a black plastic nylon ring, where it can be easily snapped out and put to use. The key’s material is filled with 40% glass fiber fill to strengthen the key and prevent breakage, so you can rest assured the only parts that break are
the ones you want to. Its tiny, lightweight disc is easily sewn into
coats, dresses, bras, trousers, and skirts, socks (yes, it’s that
light), and it can also be woven into shoelaces, onto purse straps, and

As always, if you need more than 20 Emergency Handcuff Keys, you can contact [email protected] for special pricing.

Rift Recon Brings The Art of Escape to ISSW 2015

Rift Recon is to offer their first large-scale
urban escape and evasion training of the New Year to those attending InfoSec Southwest in Austin, TX on April 8th-10th.


“We’re talking about an entirely new terrain with entirely new challenges. The Austin playing field will be unparalleled to what any Art of Escape participant has experienced before.”

San Francisco, CA February 4th, 2015

As the InfoSec Southwest (ISSW) conference approaches, San Francisco security company Rift Recon bolsters its arsenal of cutting-edge knowledge in anticipation. In addition to the lecture tracks, ISSW has a number of specialized and in-depth training courses available before the conference begins. Rift Recon’s renowned urban escape and evasion course, The Art of Escape (AOE), is being offered as one of those trainings. It will be Rift’s inaugural ISSW intensive, and the first Art of Escape course of the New Year.

Art of Escape ISSW participants can expect to garner skills such as how to pick, bypass, and open locks, open handcuffs, duct tape, and rope, as well as effectively utilize social engineering and active confidence schemes to their advantage. This three-day-long intensive, led by head trainer Brian O’Shea and Rift Recon CEO Eric Michaud, will close with a    realistic abduction simulation designed to put the students’ newfound knowledge into practice. The students will have to gain the trust of their captors, break free of their restraints, escape by gaining access to restricted or unauthorized areas without detection, and much, much more.

“We’re talking about an entirely new terrain with entirely new challenges,” remarked O’Shea, who develops the abduction simulation programming, “The Austin playing field will be unparalleled to what any Art of Escape participant has experienced before.”

Potential AOE players should keep in mind that each course is pre-registration only until the attendance threshold indicated is met. Once the attendance threshold is met, pre-registrants will be contacted with full registration and tuition payment instructions. You can learn more about The Art of Escape at ISSW, as well as pre-register, by clicking through to the official training listings page.

“Since this will be the first Art of Escape training of the new year, we’re excited to be able to apply all of our attention and resources to blowing it out of the water,” said Michaud. “We’re aware that we’re developing a curriculum for industry insiders as opposed to the general public, and that creates a unique opportunity to produce brand new material.”

About ISSW:

InfoSec Southwest is an annual information security and hacking conference held in Austin, Texas, one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the United States. By addressing a broad scope of subject-matter, InfoSec Southwest is intended to both provide a comprehensive and valuable forum to all participants as well as fill a gap for our local attendees left by the other few conferences held here in Texas which are all focused on a narrower scope of subject matter or a narrower slice of audience demographic. Visit http://2015.infosecsouthwest.com for more information and registration instructions.

About Rift Recon:

Rift Recon is a premiere cyber and physical security agency comprised of researchers, former military and private security detail contractors, and computer and hardware hackers that equips its clients from a suite of exclusive services, including specialized consulting, trainings, hardware tampering and forensics work, software development, assessment reports, tool creation, and team outfitting. Visit http://www.riftrecon.com, find them on Facebook, or follow @RiftRecon on Twitter for more information.

Introducing: The Rift Recon Under The Door Tool 2.0

The Under The Door Tool has one use, and its execution is swift and faultless: It goes underneath a door and pulls open a door handle from the inside.

The Under The Door Tool is a pentest professional industry standard that utilizes the implementation of United States requirements that door hardware be compliant to regulations for user-safety and universal accessibility. To meet building codes, lever handles are added to, or put or in place of, a round door knob.

As many physical penetration specialists know, most buildings keep the inside door lever unlocked from the inside in case of emergencies, or for convenience – even when the outside door lever is locked. 

The UTDT has been a classic Rift product, offered in our very first Red Team Kit. Now we are innovating on this very iconic product. =

Introducing: The Under The Door Tool 2.0


The UTDT2.0 is comprised of two primary parts calibrated precisely to meet and engage door hardware regulation lengths: a sturdy, specifically angled rod, and its attached stainless steel cable (wire rope).

The 2.0 is the upgraded version of the beloved original UTDT at the same affordable price. It’s lighter and more malleable, with a piano wire rod that’s 20% thinner than the classic.

Unlike the original, the cable can be disconnected from the rod, thereby allowing you to separate the pieces and pack it easily for more covert action.

While the original UTDT had a chrome-plated rod that was prone to flaking and fracturing, the new nickel-plated rod runs no such risk. The wire is easy to fix and can be smoothly interchanged with nylon, and the tool’s overall flexibility means it can be carried more creatively. It still fits handily inside our premium Red Team Kit bag and stays coiled and ready for use with its included quick release strap (Under The Door Tool is part of the Red Team Kit toolset). 

  • Rift Recon Exclusive
  • 43" extended, 19.5" coiled
  • Rolls into discreet, flat coil
  • The choice of hotel professionals
  • Durable, easy to use

The Under The Door Tool 2.0 is only $49.95 with a 10% discount for Rift Recon newsletter subscribers!

Want to review The Under The Door Tool 2.0? Email Arianna Travaglini at [email protected]

Introducing: The Rift Recon Shove Knife


This classic bypass tool, previously only sold as part of our exclusive Red Team Kit, is now available separately! Widely used by firefighters to gain entry to indoor residential and office lock key ways, it acts by reaching through to act on elements beyond the pins. It’s excellent for opening commonly used filing cabinets as well. It’s durable, lightweight, discreet, and made of high quality materials. It allows the handler to gain fast, damage-free access, and works from either side of the door it’s applied to.

This should be the last shove knife you’ll ever need!

Only $14.95 – 10% off if you’re a Rift Recon newsletter subscriber!

  • 300 Full Hard Stainless metal body
  • Never Rusts
  • Black PVC handle non-slip handle
  • 1 inch wide by 10 inches long
  • No rough edges (no need to re-sheath)
  • Made in the USA

    Want to review the Shove Knife? Email Arianna Travaglini at [email protected]

I told staff to stay home today and watch #31c3 videos…

….and you should too!

For those of you not in the know, the #31c3 conference known as the 31st Chaos Communication Congress is hosted by the oldest hacking group in Germany the CCC (Chaos Computer Club). I myself have almost attended every winter for the last 10 years but had to skip this year because of work and personal commitments.

Regardless of not being in person, myself and peers alike have had a grand time keeping in the loop because of the fantastic video streaming service they host here: http://streaming.media.ccc.de/ check out ReLive for the talks that just finished.

This year #31c3 has a great selection of speakers and researchers covering topics relevant to journalists, activists, businesses, and individuals alike.

Here is the schedule of talks:


All I’ll say is at least watch SS7: Locate. Track. Manipulate. by Tobias Engel


Thunderstrike: EFI bootkits for Apple Macbooks. by Trammell Hudson

They’ll give you shivers and excite you at the same time to see that proper hacking is still done today.

Lastly, If you have any questions about how these attacks may affect you and your organizations specifically or about anything else at #31c3 this year, we’re happy to help answer any questions. Drop us a line at [email protected]

We’ll post a follow up regarding talks that Rift staff really thought really stood out in the near future.

– Eric Michaud

CEO/Founder at Rift Recon