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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: 1) by malloc_free on Wednesday September 03 2014, @08:41PM

    by malloc_free (3034) on Wednesday September 03 2014, @08:41PM (#89068) Journal

    With the right card and proper encryption, this should not work. The cards I have used allow for public key encryption and, using that, creation of a shared secret key.


  • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday September 03 2014, @10:14PM

    by hankwang (100) on Wednesday September 03 2014, @10:14PM (#89104) Homepage

    How would that prevent this from happening? It's a known problem anyway: [] []

    Because NFC devices usually include ISO/IEC 14443 protocols, the relay attacks described are also feasible on NFC.[41][42] For this attack the adversary has to forward the request of the reader to the victim and relay back its answer to the reader in real time, in order to carry out a task pretending to be the owner of the victim's smart card. This is similar to a man-in-the-middle attack. For more information see a survey of practical relay attack concepts.[43] One of libnfc code examples demonstrates a relay attack using only two stock commercial NFC devices. It has also been shown that this attack can be practically implemented using only two NFC-enabled mobile phones.[44]

    • (Score: 1) by malloc_free on Thursday September 04 2014, @12:37AM

      by malloc_free (3034) on Thursday September 04 2014, @12:37AM (#89145) Journal

      OK yeah there is little you can do about this if the system you use only requires one method of authentication - just the card itself. I see most of the solutions attempt to detect delays in transmission/relpy. So one way to fix this would be to use two-factor authentication, where a pin is required as well as the card. Then there is shoulder surfing I guess...