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 email@example.com.
Apart for the interesting lectures and workshops, the Dutch Open lockpicking and impressioning championships will also be held during LockCon as usual.
Last Friday, Jos got a little present: an ABUS E60 as an impressioning challenge.
The keyway is way different to what he usually encounters during competitions (which would be the old trusted C83) so it was a good thing a handful of blanks were thrown in as well…
It’s a six pin cilinder, and the keys vary quite a lot in thickness when you go down. At some points it more than doubles between cuts!
So basically, lots of Jos’ fancy tools were rather unusable for this one. But, it took only two blanks and the better part of 45 minutes (which included a phonecall) but in the end it did open!
For over 10 years, we have held yearly club competitions at Toool. We collect some 25 locks and allow all Toool members to have a go at them. At a normal competition, you get a lock you have never picked before and only one chance. In this club competition, you can really try to learn how the locks reacts, how different tools and techniques produce different results and you can have a go at really difficult locks. At the end of the competition, there are prizes awarded for three lockpickers who opened the most locks in the least amount of time.
The 2015 competition ended a few months ago and we finally handed out the prizes to the winners. The prizes are a plaque and a Tokoz PRO 300 cilinder, kindly sponsored by Tokoz. The winner is Walter Belgers, second place is for Christian Holler and Jos Weyers came in third.
I had ordered a cheap transparant padlock out of China. Although it is a six pin lock, I could pick it touching only two of the six pins. I took a look at it and it’s interesting to see how costs were cut (the lock costs about $3 in bulk). Material has been drilled from the plug to save material. Also, the top and bottom pins are the same pins. This influences the security of the lock. If the pin is stack is not neatly at the sheer line, it will still open as the tipped pin will wiggle itself into the correct position. This is why picking one third of the pins suffices in this case.
I then looked at some euro cilinders in the same price range. It turns out that effectively, they have only one pin that needs to be set. You can use a random key to wiggle the lock open. Even more shocking is the fact that some people will actually put such a lock on their front door.
I regularly give lectures and workshops about locks and lock related topics at conferences such as CONFidence, Hack.lu, BruCON, 4GH, SEC-T, Hackito Ergo Sum, Hashdays, Fri3dcamp, TEDx and more. My latest talk was also the most interesting. It was at the wonderful t2.fi conference in Helsinki, Finland.
I was there in 2014 as well. This year, I could only speak again if I’d open Finnish locks. And Finnish locks are among the most secure.. Almost everybody in Finland has ASSA Abloy locks on their door. Many Fins believe these are unpickable. So I set myself the task to open these locks.
First, I tried the H&H tool for opening Abloy. I then found out this tool does not work and simply cannot work, unless you can set the discs in order. So this was money wasted. I finally was able to purchase a tool from Citadel LockTools in the UK, that can actually open (and decode) Abloy Classic locks. These tools are handmade by Matt and look and work fantastic.
The tool comes with several tips, for different kinds of locks. I bought a few Abloy Classic ‘handbag’ padlocks and it’s interesting to see that they differ. In one, the deepest disc is locked, not so in the other. They both need a different tip on the tool.
Using this tool, I was able to open an Abloy Classic live on stage in Helsinki, which got me a nice applause!
Here’s a clip of when, after some practicing, I was first able to open the Classic using Matt’s tool:
I had this Maverick lock in my collection for a long time. At a Toool meeting, I was playing around and decided to try and open it. Martin then suggested he make it into a cutaway version, which he did. I’ve made a short video to demonstrate how it works.
The German Impressioning Championships took place in Kassel, Germany on June 27th.
In the first round, Jos was the only one who managed to open their lock within an hour. Jos opened in 5 minutes and 20 seconds, which means that he is the champion and the trophy is back in the Netherlands.
The locks were, as always, Abus C83/73 cylinders. New this year was the use of special pins inside the locks. Here you see a few of them:
Jos is looking forward to the next international games, which will be held in Seattle, USA.
Getting practice locks that have no security pins, for new lockpickers, is not that easy here in the Netherlands. But sometimes, cheap “dollar stores” will have batches of cheap locks that are very easy to pick.
Martin found such a lock in a store in Belgium. The funny thing? The lock had actually picked itself during transport, probably due to vibrations, inside the packaging!
So that’s great news. We now have self-picking locks…
April 24th, a delegation of Toool visited the Euro-Locks factory in Bastogne, Belgium.
Sales manager Jean-Louis Vincart welcomed us and talked us through the history of Euro-Locks, the factories and products. After that, we visited the actual production facility. The Bastogne factory is huge and almost all of their products are completely build here. We spoke with the R&D people creating new molds, saw molten zamac, steel presses, chrome baths, assembly lines and packaging, so everything from the raw metal to the finished product. It’s interesting to see so many products (both in range of products and the actual number of produced locks) being made here, and having no stock of the finished product.
Thanks to Eric and Martin for making the visit possible.