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posted by azrael on Tuesday September 02 2014, @01:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the opening-pandora's-box dept.

One of the unintended consequences of cheap 3-D printing is that any troublemaker can duplicate a key without setting foot in a hardware store. Now Andy Greenberg reports that clever lockpickers are taking that DIY key-making trick a step further printing a "bump key" that opens even high-security locks in seconds, without seeing the original key.

A bump key resembles a normal key but can open millions of locks with a carefully practiced rap on its head with a hammer. Using software they created called Photobump, Jos Weyers and Christian Holler say it's now possible to easily bump open a wide range of locks using keys based on photographs of the locks' keyholes. As a result, all anyone needs to open many locks previously considered "unbumpable" is a bit of software, a picture of the lock's keyhole, and the keyhole's depth. "You don’t need much more to make a bump key," says Weyers. "Basically, if I can see your keyhole, there’s an app for that."

Weyers and Holler want to warn lockmakers about the possibility of 3-D printable bump keys so they can defend against it. Although Holler will discuss the technique at the Lockcon lockpicking conference in Sneek, the Netherlands, next month, he doesn't plan to release the Photobump software publicly and is working with police in his native Germany to analyze whether printed bump keys leave any forensic evidence behind.

Ikon maker Assa Abloy argues 3-D printing bump keys to its locks is an expensive, unreliable trick that doesn’t work on some locks whose keys have hidden or moving parts but Weyers argues that instead of dismissing 3-D printing or trying to keep their key profiles secret, lockmakers should produce more bump resistant locks with electronic elements or unprintable parts.

"The sky isn't falling, but the world changes and now people can make stuff," says Weyers. "Lock manufacturers know how to make a lock bump-resistant. And they had better."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Snotnose on Tuesday September 02 2014, @02:15AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Tuesday September 02 2014, @02:15AM (#88327)

    CSB

    About 30 years ago I lived in an Apt complex that consisted of about 10 rows of rectangular buildings, all with 8 units each, each had a different street address. I worked night shift at the time and we used to get off at midnight, close a local bar, go get dinner, and head home. One night I unlocked my door but, when I went to open it the door chain was on. As my brain was processing WTF some old guy comes up to the door yelling "hey,who are you and what are you doing!".

    Turns out I'd gone to the row next door. A bit of experimentation the next day showed that my #7 key unlocked all 10 #7 doors. Went to my neighbor, his #6 key opened all #6 doors. we went to the landlord and got our locks replaced the next day.

    /CSB

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    I hate when I put something off to tomorrow, and tomorrow arrives.
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by isostatic on Tuesday September 02 2014, @09:17AM

    by isostatic (365) on Tuesday September 02 2014, @09:17AM (#88424) Journal

    You're lucky you didn't get shot. God bless America.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by jimshatt on Tuesday September 02 2014, @10:09AM

    by jimshatt (978) on Tuesday September 02 2014, @10:09AM (#88434) Journal
    In dutch, but really funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLgQd1r-2Rs [youtube.com]