Archive for the ‘LockCon’ Category

Toool on the BBC (again)

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

At LockCon, we had some guests who were shooting footage for the BBC. They followed a few British lockpickers, including Nigel and made an item for the One Show.

It aired last week and you can view it below.

LockCon 2019!

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Yes – we are still in 2018. But.. the date for LockCon 2019 is already known!

LockCon 2019 will be held October 25-27, 2019, in Castle De Berckt in Baarlo, Netherlands (the same place as previous years). Arrival the 24th in the evening is possible, as is leaving the 28th if you wish.

Registration will be possible a number of months before the event starts, so no need to mail us already, this is just so you know when to reserve LockCon in your agendas.

FIOPS forensic tests

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

At LockCon 2017 (so last year), the good people from FIOPS were present. FIOPS is an internationalorganization founded to create a platform for forensic specialists in the field of physical security.

This is an interesting field, that also interests many of the attendees at LockCon. By looking at traces left inside a lock, it is possible to tell a lot, e.g. if it was just opened with a key, or if also picking tools were inserted. It is possible to differentiate between standard pick tools, pick guns, bump keys etc. because all leave different traces that can be seen by disassembling the lock and having a close look with a microscope.

The folks from FIOPS asked our help to provide real traces in locks, to help build a library of locks opened with different (but known) techniques. For this reason, they installed a real door in which cylinders were placed to be opened, every time a new one. Recordings were made of the opening.

I was one of the people opening one of the locks (lock 24), and my method was picking. Since members of Toool never pick locks in doors as it does not make sense but makes it harder, I expected to need quite a lot of time. Imagine my surprise when I opened in 20 seconds, even if I had never picked the lock before!

Here’s a video of me opening:

Enjoy!
Walter.

Results Lockpicking championships

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Quite a lot of people participated in the Lockpicking championships (the “Dutch Open”). We had 67 participants! Six groups were made where every person tried to open six locks. The best two would go on to the knock outs. Here are the results of that first round:

Winner Runner-up
Table 1  Julian Max
Table 2 Locknoob   Femurat
Table 3 Walter Decoder
Table 4 Marc Gorilla
Table 5 Torsten Jos
Table 6 Catani Jascha

In the first knock out round, each number one would compete one-on-one with a number two, leaving only six people:

Competitors Winner
Julian – Femurat   Julian
Locknoob – Max Max
Walter – Gorilla Walter
Marc – Decoder Decoder
Torsten – Jascha Torsten
Catani – Jos Jos

The next knock out round left three people:

Competitors Winner
Julian – Walter Julian
Max – Decoder   Decoder
Torsten – Jos Torsten

Those three people went to the final round, having to open three high security locks:

CISA C3000  KALE KILLIT  ISEO F6
1. Decoder   1’13
2. Torsten 11’26
3. Julian

Here we see the winners, from left to right Julian, Decoder and Torsten:
Lockpicking winners
Picture by femurat

LockCon 2018

Friday, October 5th, 2018

LockCon 2018 was another success. For the second time at Kasteel De Berckt, for the first time completely sold out. We had a lot of repeat visitors of course, but also some newcomers. People from the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and possibly some countries I am forgetting now joined us for a three day event filled with lectures, workshops, competitions and of course networking (meeting new people over a beer, reconnecting with others, swapping locks and techniques).

The BBC was present to shoot some footage for an upcoming One Show.

I would like to thank our sponsors, who made the event possible. Abus sponsored all the C83 cylinders and the brass keyblanks used in the impressioning competition. They certainly know what they are doing, the bitting was perfect for the game. Multipick and Sparrows Lockpicks gave away some fantastic prizes for all of the winners. They both have some interesting new gear, be sure to take a look. Paclock made wonderful engraved padlocks for all the winners, in different colours. M&C, Tokoz and EVVA sponsored locks as prizes and for the competition. Spoox sponsored picks and pick holders. Thanks!

Picking away
Picture by Sarah

LockCon 2018

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

We are busy with the preparations for LockCon 2018, taking place September 28-30 in Baarlo, Netherlands. We are almost sold out (i.e. all the rooms at the venue being occupied). There are a few left, prefeably for people sharing rooms. There is also the option to have tents or RV’s on the premises, but we would rather stick to regular rooms.

The BBC will be present to do some filming. We will have championships in lockpicking, lever lockping and impressioning. And of course a full program with lectures and workshops.

LockCon 2017 aftermath

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

We pulled it off: we organized yet another very succesful LockCon! The ninth already. Because the hotel we went to last year was no longer available, we went to a new location: a real castle.

Even though we had nice surroundings, great campfires and good beer, it was of course all about meeting others interested in locks! Many new friends were made, thanks to the excellent atmosphere and the small size of the conference (100 people at most, this time from at least 10 different countries).

We also held the Dutch Open competitions in lockpicking, impressioning and lever lock picking. We were helped by many companies who sponsored. We say thank you to Abus, sponsored all the impressioning locks and keys (they did a great job with well-adjusted key bittings), DOM who sponsored some locks for the picking finals and the sponsors of some great prizes: Sparrows lockpicks (money vouchers), Pacific Lock (engraved locks), Multipick (electropicks and picksets), Tokoz (locks) and EVVA (marketing materials).

LockCon prizes

The winners are: for lockpicking: Julian (1st), Decoder (2nd) and Martin (3rd). For impressioning: Jos (1st), Oli (2nd) and Manfred (3rd). For the Toool NL competition: Walter (1st), Decoder (2nd) and Jos (3rd). For lever lock picking: Tomás (1st), Julian (2nd) and Harry (3rd). Congratulations!

And, there were many talks. We have had a great number of really impressive talks over the years, but have never published any of them. LockCon provides a secure setting where people can speak openly, even about new lock designs for instance. But, this year was a little bit special. We had an invited speaker, Tim Jenkin, who, for the first time, spoke exclusively about how he, as a political prisoner in 1970s South Africa, managed to escape. You can watch the whole video online:

An extraordinary story!

Update: I just finished adding closed captions in English. You can try autotranslate to get subtitles in any language you like. It was a huge amount of work, but I feel this story is important enough to share with many people.

LockCon update

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

LockCon 2017

As we already said, LockCon preparations are in full swing. October 20~22 we will gather in Baarlo, the Netherlands, in a medieval castle.

We can now tell you that one of the speakers will be Tim Jenkin. Tim was jailed for distributing ANC flyers in South Africa in the 1970s. He was caught and jailed. In jail, he and his friends learned to pick the locks in the prison. There were more than 10 that he needed to open, but in the end, he succeeded. For the first time, Tim will give a presentation about all the details of how the locks were opened. We are thrilled to have Tim!

If you haven’t registered yet, do so while it is still possible. LockCon is invite only, but every year we reserve a few places for people who are not invited. If you want to be at LockCon, but did not get an invite, send your motivation to us.

LockCon 2017

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

LockCon 2017

We have started the preparations for LockCon 2017! We have a location, a date, a registration form (plenty of people have already registered) and we are looking forward to the event!

The medieval knight you see in the logo was inspired by the location, which is a 12th century castle. A nice location for three days (October 20~22) of workshops, lectures and competitions. As always, LockCon is an invite-only event. If you have been there before and want to come again, but haven’t registered, please do so now. Get the link from somebody at Toool.

More background information at LockCon 2017

Chinese locks

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

After winning the lockpicking competition in 2014, the folks of Toool US were kind enough to sponsor a plane ticket to the event in de USA in 2015. Since I couldn’t use it, they said they would get me something else instead. That finally arrived in the form of a small suitcase labeled “Thank you for LockCon 2016”. Jos got a similar case. Thanks guys!

Case with Chinese locks

Case with Chinese locks

In it is a collection of Chinese locks. The first one (marked AFA) has two rows of dimples, 10 in total, and a wavy line. The lock is typical Chinese in that it comes with two keys that are used during construction, and several (in this case 5) user keys that are seperetely packaged. A special programming key is used to disable the construction keys and enable the user keys.

Case with Chinese locks

The second one does not seem to be reprogrammable. It comes with six keys and it is one of these Chinese locks that has a free spinning plug. The key connects the two parts of the plug, allowing the lock to operate.

Case with Chinese locks

The next lock is a padlock with a ‘smiley’ key profile. There are pins on both sides.

Case with Chinese locks

The next lock is a cilinder that again has two construction keys and a closed box that holds the (six) user keys. There is no reprogramming key: any user key will do. The construction keys have a slit at the end of the key, the user keys do not. This cilinder has a quite nice looking anti-breaking element, as has the free spinning lock. On the key we read “safety is derived from technology, Kailusidun”.

Case with Chinese locks

The last lock is a padlock made by Zhongxin. The key has two rods and the lock has two holes. The key does not rotate, it needs to be inserted after which a button on the lock can be pushed to unlock it. Removing the key locks the lock again.

Case with Chinese locks