LockCon is over

October 3rd, 2016

All good things come to an end. And a good thing it surely was! The attendees, from all over the world, were very happy with the way LockCon turned out. We are already looking forward to next year!

I would like to thank Abus for sposoring the cylinders and blanks used for the impressioning championships. Then there were several companies who have sponsored prizes for the winners. M&C sponsored a whole bunch of their cylinders, but one really stood out: it is their new Condor cylinder, a cutaway version of it, but huge and fully functional! On the picture you see it, next to a regular M&C cylinder to give you an idea of the size. A real eye catcher! Sparrows Lockpicks sponsored coupons in worth of $800, Peterson gave away several of his famous picksets, Knaap Junior gave away polo shirts and both Tokoz and Barry Wels gave away some cylinders. Thanks!

All prize winners also received a plaque in the form of a working model of a pin stack, as per the design Kenny McElroy:

And here’s all the winners:

LockCon day #3

October 3rd, 2016

Day #2 almost blended into day #3, the last day of the event, filled with lectures and a competition, just like the previous days. Mr. Cherepov showed his safe lock that uses a matrix key. Decoder talked about how he created a tool to pick the DOM Diamant lock. Jaakko talked about his research on safe combination locks that could lead to such locks being opened in a few minutes.

After that, we had a lever lock competition. Last time, this was an impromptu thing, this year it was a real competition with a record number of participants. With only 2 minutes per lock in the first round, this was quickfire picking. Still, all the 10 groups had at least one person open a lock. The fastest 10 then tried to open six locks in the final. Only Lars succeeded in opening all six, winning him first prize.

LockCon day #2

October 1st, 2016

The second day of LockCon is also over. In between all the talking, lockpicking, lock swapping, socializing and such, there was time for workshops and lectures. Jord gave a workshop lever lock picking, to prepare attendees for the championship tomorrow. After that, Peter Field discussed techniques used by lock manufacturers, with his wonderful pictures that show the working in fantastic detail. Next, Jan and Michael talked about their adventures milling EVVA 3KS keys. Eric came across a certain motorbike lock that needed opening and he decided to use a decoder for it of which he explained the working. The evening was ended by the premiere of “American Lockpicker”, a documentary about Schuyler Towne by Ben Hartman.

And we had also time for the lockpicking championships. A whopping 48 people competed. After 8 rounds, 6 people went through to the semi-finals and three of those played the final rounds. It turned out to be very exciting, with all three contestants opening all three locks within the 15 minutes they had for each lock. In the end, Christian was the fastest and thus became the winner. Here you see him in action:

LockCon day #1

September 30th, 2016

The first day of LockCon has come to an end (at least, the official program). We had a talk by MH and Lucas about Chinese locks. What threats do they try to protect against? What new techniques are being used? Featuring the famous “free spinning lock” and the “chain-key lock”. Jord Knaap had some interesting stories about his work as a safe opener. He also showed some very new safe opening techniques. Deviant talked about keyed-alike locks in the USA. Who would have thought that when the policy (or taxi companies) order keyed-alike cars, they are actually all keyed alike? Jimmie and Cocolitos talked about newly designed picks that work really well on many types of locks. Ray disassembled some wireless locks and found some interesting vulnerabilities (including a 0day). Kenny learned us all about OpenSCAD. We will not go into too much detail. The event is invite-only for a reason ;-).

And we had also time for the impressioning championships. Abus kindly sponsored a bunch of Abus C83 cylinders and key blanks. After a first round, the first six went to the final, all having to open six new locks. The winner was Alexandre, Oli became second and Jord third.

Here you see the winner in action:

Security Essen

September 30th, 2016

Although many locks now feature electronic features, at the Security Essen fair, enough interesting fully mechanical locks could be seen. Some companies, like Iseo, have decided to focus solely on electronics at this event. Other companies show that new mechanical features can still be invented. Evva showcased the new 4KS which is a continuation of the 3KS. I found the ICS with Temporary Access Function more interesting from a mechanical standpoint. This cylinder comes with two user keys, of which one only works after putting the lock in temporary access mode with a change key. Mottura showed cylinders with a magnet in the key, to defeat lockpicking. DOM has a new cylinder that has keys that are even harder to duplicate. Abus showed a really neat new modular system that makes it very easy to change the length of any of their cylinders without using special tools, not even a screwdriver. A very simple and elegant solution that works really well.

The company Master showed an impressioning key for single row dimple locks, that uses a metal wire to impression in. It needs quite a bit of force to impression, hence a tool is used for that. In the video you can see it in action.

Now off to LockCon 2016!

LockCon program

August 17th, 2016

Although the desire to be at LockCon is normally not related with the official program, we do get some questions about what lectures will be given. So, we have made a (preliminary!) program. You can download it from here: lockcon2016.ics.

Apart from competitions in lockpicking, impressioning and lever lock picking, lots of socializing and generally having lots of fun, these lectures/workshops are planned:

  • Contemporary Chinese Locks by MH and Lucas Zhao
  • Bypassing electronic safe locks by Jord Knaap
  • Keyed-alike industrial standards by Deviant Ollam
  • OpenSCAD by Kenny McElroy
  • Surfing the wave! (a pin lock picking tools analysis) by Jimmie & Cocolitos
  • Elements of Cylinder Design by Peter Field
  • CNC Milling EVVA 3KS Keys and decoding the Masterkey System by Jan Morawek and Michael Weiner
  • AccuReader by Eric Scaillet
  • Why safe lock manipulation works by Jaakko Fagerlund

Cutaway locks 2.0

July 10th, 2016

Cutaway locks are a nice way to understand the inner working of a lock. Many lock companies make factory cutaways of their models, but they can be hard to get. There are also companies making (pad)locks out of plastic to show the inner workings. And then there are locks made into cutaways by lock lovers.

Many exist, but the locks created by ‘Lock Cracker’ are in a separate class. Using a CNC milling machine he is able to cut away lots of material so you can see how the pins move, but also how the actual locking mechanism works. The most interesting are high security locks that have special features, such as the Ross Emhart lock that has interconnecting pins. Or his newest creation, the Mul-T-Lock MT5+. This lock uses pins within pins. The outer pins have been individually cut to show the inner pin within. Truly a masterpiece.

More pictures can be found in this gallery.

Contact him at l0ckcr4ck3r@gmail.com. Note that we as Toool have no affiliation with Lock Cracker, we just admire his work and like to share it.

LockCon progress

July 2nd, 2016

LockCon 2016

Things are moving along rather nicely. The registration has opened and a lot of the usual suspects have already registered. We are however still missing quite a lot of our regular visitors. Please do not forget to register, because we have a limited number of rooms. Just showing up on the day will probably mean you cannot get in anymore!

Lots of people are submitting talks. We love it! Keep them coming! People who have submitted a talk will be contacted later, when we have a preliminary schedule. There is room for lightning talks as well.

There is a logo for LockCon 2016 as you can see. This year, we have decided not to print shirts, to avoid a pile of left overs once LockCon is over. Anybody want to buy a shirt from 2014? This year we do have shirts, but they are printed on demand and you can order them yourselves. We offer these on a non profit basis via the shirt shop of our good friends at Hack42. You can order either a man’s T-shirt, women’s T-shirt, mini person T-shirt or a hoodie.

If you want to use a different (local/cheaper/DIY) printshop, feel free to use the logo above.

Magnetic Power Box Lock

June 12th, 2016

Marcel got a Goso pickgun and it included some items of which the use was not clear right away:

Goso pick

Goso pick

After some researching on the internet, it turned out that these are meant to pick certain magnetic locks that are manufactured in China. Outside of China, you will likely not come across these locks.

The silver coloured piece can only turn, the brass piece has a push knob at the end. After some googling, Marcel found a YouTube video explaining the lock (not the tool), made by Lockman28, to be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZNUgsplYk4.

LockCon 2016 – dates

April 19th, 2016

LockCon logo

The weekend of September 30 – October 2, the LockCon conference will once again be held! This time, it will not be in Sneek, but in Garderen, in Hotel Overbosch Garderen. Garderen is less than 2 hours from Schiphol Airport when using public transportation.

LockCon is an invite-only conference. Members of Toool NL and affiliated lockpicking groups can visit, as well as people that have visited LockCon before. Others need to be endorsed or need to convince us they should be there 🙂

Registration is not yet open and the price is not yet known. This post is for you to take note of the date, and also to ask if you are willing and capable of giving a lecture or workshop at LockCon 2016. If so, please let us know at lockcon2016-submit@toool.nl.

Apart for the interesting lectures and workshops, the Dutch Open lockpicking and impressioning championships will also be held during LockCon as usual.