May 10th, 2020

TL;DR : lockcon 2020 is cancelled
The slightly longer version:
With conferences being cancelled left-and-right in these current covid-times it wont surprise you that the ToooL.nl board has rather extensively been looking at options.
The dutch government has drafted, a rather ambitious, timetable to battle the current crisis.
According to this schedule, September 1st would be the first point in time to give an actual go/no-go for lockcon2020. Mind you, this is in a rather best-case scenario. That would give us a bit less than two months to get organized, AND for our guests to sort out vacation days and (international) travelplans.
This currently seems unfeasible to us.

By interpreting the rules to the letter, there might be loopholes to be found to legally be allowed to organize and run the event as originally planned. And yes, we really would like to run the event, but we would like it even more if our lockpick community members would stay healthy.

Jan-Willem (co-chair)
Tom (finance)
Jos (chair)

Classic car ignition lock

March 9th, 2020

Once in a while people bring very interesting locks to our meetups. In this case an ignition lock from a classic car. The task was clear: impression a key for this lock. Taking this lock apart would pose serious challenge and risks.

As the ‘job’ was not announced in advance we had to make do with what was on hand: steel blanks, imperfect magnification, and an old file.

Complete ignition lock.
The back of the lock.
A working key!

Do you want to learn how to impression a lock? By special request we can bring the impressioning gear to the meetup. It’s not something we carry standard because of volume and weight.

MKS impressioning at Hackerhotel

February 27th, 2020

On the Valentines weekend 400 Hackers met at a hotel in Garderen. There was the conference: Hackerhotel 2020. It felt like a huge hackerspace meetup with talks and workshops. I’ve followed the hardware hacking workshop by @Jilles_com and learned for to extreme read!

Jos was asked to do his talk om Master Keyed Systems and how to defeat them using impressioning. Summary: “Privilege escalation attack? You are doing it wrong! Use impressioning to your advantage. :)”

If you can’t figure it out from the summary you can find his talk on YT here.

LockCon 2020 dates are known!

December 30th, 2019

29th of October up until 1st of November 2020 we will be again hosting our yearly conference in  “de Berckt castle” in Baarlo, The Netherlands. Prepare for some spooooky picking!

Registration is not open yet, but we wanted to give our community an early heads-up to lock in any vacation-days or international travel. 

Lockpicks for Hackerspaces

December 3rd, 2019

Post by: Jan-Willem
I’ve recently acquired ~20kg lockpicks, 4000 lockpicks. These where sold by a scrap metal dealer on eBay. As why he had them I can only guess. He did well for not scrap these. The picks are a bit rusty and need work to be useable. As you can imagine cleaning them all by myself will not be fun. There for I decided to sell most of them and give some away. (Yes, this project is not what a sane person would attempt.)

I’ve sold bags of 500g at LockCon. Most will be used at lockpicking villages around Europe. With the remaining picks I’ve created grabbags of about 250gram (50 picks) for the Dutch Hackerspaces. Because every Hackerspace needs lockpicks.

Lockpicks, ~4000 of them!
Lockpicks packed and labelled. Ready to be shipped by Hackermail (Inter-hackerspace delivery service)

The full story can be found on: https://bitlair.nl/Projects/Lockpicks_for_Dutch_Hackerspaces Happy picking!

Czech Lockpicking Championship 2019

November 28th, 2019

Czech Lockpicking Championship 2019 by the Association of Czech Lockpickers.
Website: www.lockpicking.team

Report by Jan-Willem.
On Uklocksport Meastro posted an open invitation for lockpickers to compete in the Czech championship. The topic is a good read, you’ll find a lengthy discussion about the rules and difficulty of the locks. I’ve decided to join the competition and booked my flight.

The conference started on Thursday evening. I flew in on Friday and missed every easy method to get to the conference easily. I’ve haggled with the taxi driver and he took me to the conference. It took 90 minutes and was the most expensive taxi drive I’ve had to date. The Taxi driver did not speak much English and told me he was a diving instructor. From driving I understood he was a rally driver too. Just before dark I arrived at the location. The competitions had started earlier and meant I missed the padlock competition.

Main building at Youth camp Nova Zivohost

The conference was held at the youth camp at Nova Zivohost with many small cottages close to the river. The competition was held in a large cafeteria like room on wooden pick-nick benches. Even the most basic accommodation was more than sufficient. I’ve slept in a small cottage with bathroom on 200m.

Moldau at Youth camp Nova Zivohost

The championship has many disciplines; Padlocks picking, cylinder picking, safe locks, and impressioning. Safelocks and impressioning where new competitions this year.

Each competition had it’s own timetable, rules, and dedicated crowd. In between the competitions there where talks on various topics, from safe locks to decoders and lock patents to locksport groups. I’ve participated in Imperessioning, group 2 safe manipulation and freestyle.

The prices on display

The Friday night was used to get to know each other. Each lockpicking group had a small talk on the country and lockpicking group. Many nationalities where present. Not limited to: Italian, Czech, Hungarian, German, Austrian and Dutch. I’ve done a small and improvised talk on Toool, shown off a few projects like ‘the room’ at HackerHotel. The talks took quite a while as everything was translated from Czech to English and English to Czech. I’ve Marek to thank for translating every little detail.

Impressioning was my first competition. The pick-nick benches where a bit annoying as I could not get the right angle. I’ve brought my block-o-wood vice with me and it did work perfectly. In the first round we got one lock and 5 counted blanks. I’ve opened mine in 90 seconds and proceeded to the finals. After 7 minuted eight people opened the lock, four for each final. All the blanks where counted, all of them needed to be returned.

Jan-Willem at the impressioning championship

For the finals The Czech competition got extremely difficult locks: Fab 200, Fab 1000, Tokoz tech and Evva are no joke. These locks are restricted and wherefore I was not allowed to keep a lock, a blank or a photo of the keys. It was unexpected and quite annoying. I’ve managed to open the Fab 1000 and won the competition.

Impressioning setup.

I’ve entered the freestyle competition and it was a lot of fun, 5 minutes a lock. All tools allowed. Some of the locks where too hard. This included the Stealth key, Multilock and Xsecure (dimple). None of these locks opened on my table.

For the group 2 safe manipulation we had one hour to crack a S&G safe lock. Out of all competitors none opened the locks. I did not enter the Blitz (30 second knockout) or Cylinder competition. I used this time to talk with others at the conference. Many people have a story to tell if you talk time for them.

Table full of lockpicking equipment

The competition was a lot of fun but there are plenty of improvements to make. For me it all comes to communication but this is likely due to the language barrier. The competitors where likely overestimated, this meant that some competitions where harder than necessary. For instance if only 2 out of 16 open than the locks are too hard. Harder does not equal better or more fun.

I would like to ask to value competitions equally. Cylinder lockpicking was the larger competition. That does not mean it takes less effort to win freestyle, padlock or impressioning.

Thanks to the Czech team for organising this event. Please check www.lockpicking.team for the next event. 2020 will be LockFest and 2021 the next championship.

Certificate for winning the Czech impressioning championship

S&G cutaway

November 10th, 2019

A while ago, we talked about a very nice cutaway lock made by l0ckcr4ck3r, see https://blackbag.toool.nl/?p=2613. That was a Mul-T-Lock MT5+. He has been busy on a new lock lately, the Sargent and Greenleaf Environmental Padlock 0881.

S&G 0881

I must admit I did not know the lock, aklthough it is apparantly well-known in the USA. The lock is made to especially withstand harsh weather for prolonged periods and still open without problems,

L0ckcr4ck3r has worked his magic to cut the lock open and this is the result:

More pictures can be found at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1DKNmLTOpDM12dxdGNW-kbYIPNJRx2vEX?usp=sharing.

Toool is not affiliated with l0ckcr4ck3r, we just want to show nice pictures of nice locks.

(Post by Walter)

LockCon 2019 – Dutch competition

October 29th, 2019

One of the award ceremonies at LockCon is for a competition that takes a year. Every year, Toool has a competition with about 26 locks that are taken to all our meetings. Members of Toool can set a time on the opening of these locks and repeat doing so, improving their times as they learn more about the lock and how to pick it. It is very helpful in improving your technique but of course it is quite different from the lockpicking competition in which you get a lock you have never seen before and need to open it.

This years’ results are to be found at https://toool.nl/competitie2019/.

  1. Walter
  2. Jos
  3. Christian
  4. Tom
  5. Adam
  6. Rob

(Post by Walter)

LockCon 2019 – lever lock picking

October 29th, 2019

The lever lock picking championship has been part of LockCon for a few years now, thanks to Jord who set it up. This year, our friends from Italy brought with them a setup for a competition including locks in nice stands and tools to open them. The locks needed to be picked 4 times, for a full 360 degree turn. LEDs on top showed the progress.

There were 29 participants. In the first round, people needed to do one opening on one lock. The fastest 16 went on to the semifinals. Four groups of 4 would get 5 minutes per each of 4 locks. The best of each group, plus the best runner-up then participated in the final.

Impressioning Italian style

The final score was as follows:
1. Julian
2. Alex
3. Christian
4. Torsten
5. Nigel

Since Julian would rather not be in the picture, we include a picture of Alex getting prizes from Jos

(post by Walter)

LockCon 2019 – lockpicking

October 29th, 2019

The Dutch Open is one of the oldest lockpicking contests in the world – and the most international. This year, we had to cap the number of attendees to 66.

In the first round, 6 groups of 11 people were formed. They each needed to open 11 locks in at most 5 minutes each. The 2 best of each table then progressed. Then there were 2 shoot-out rounds, where 2 people would compete one to one, opening two locks in 15 minutes per lock maximum. That left three finalists and three people in the B finals.

I had high hopes and in the first round I opened 11 locks in a total time of 4 minutes and 1 second, the fastest of my table. But unfortunately for me, I was eliminated in the second round. The people who progressed get 6-pin locks and dimple locks to open.

The results were as follows:
1. Marc
2. Manfred
3. Julian
4. Oli
5. Max White
6. Robert

A- and B-finals times
Marc gets his prize from Jos

(Post by Walter)