Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

Lockpicking in France

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

A week ago, I visited the French lockpicking group, l’Association des Crocheteurs de France. They regularly have meetings in Paris. But last week, they had combined their meeting with lockpicking competitions and lectures (also in Paris).

There was a nice crowd. The ACF has been able to find a nice place in Paris to meet, in the 11th arrondissement. The lockpicking competition was like that in the Netherlands, where you are divided in groups and every group gets locks, given out by the organisation. Winners of each group go to the semi-finals and then the finals. What was interesting, was that the locks were dimple locks. Although the French lockpicking group is quite new (founded 3 years ago), they chose to make it difficult!

But, there were a number of people who were very skilled. I also participated. I struggled a bit with the French rule that you must use a tensioner and are not allowed to tension the cam directly. I got into the semi-finals but not the finals. But this is just an excuse of course, the three finalists were very good! 🙂

ACF competition

The final consisted of three rounds of 30(!) minutes. After that, the top-3 was known: 1st place for BilLock, 2nd for Cinok and 3rd for BisBis. Congratulations!

ACF winners 2018

After the competition (and dinner), there were four interesting lectures. One was about what you can deduce by just looking at a lock. The person who has organised the whole thing, Fabien, also gave a lecture. It was about a popular (but very expensive) French lock, that looks like an impossible-to-pick lever lock, but in fact there are several ways of defeating it, as Fabien showed.

Fabien talking

If you live in France, be sure to visit them!

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.

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.

More talks

Friday, August 11th, 2017

The SHA2017 hacker conference has just ended. This is the 4-yearly conference in the Netherlands. This time, 4000 hackers were attending.

I did two talks on locks. In the first, I compare IT security related problems with problems in physical locks. You can view it here:

I also did the physical penetration testing talk again, as already discussed in the previous posting:

I was not the only one talking about locks. Huxleypig talked about Black Hat Locksmithing:

If you are interested in this sort of thing, take a look at https://media.ccc.de/c/SHA2017, where you will find all the talks.

Physical Penetration Testing

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Apart from being chairman of Toool, I regularly give lectures about lockpicking and lock security. I’ve spoken at many hacker conferences and events hosted by professional IT and security organisations. The most recent one was at the Black Hat Sessions. They taped it so you are now able to watch this presentation online (although, unfortunately, not all of the screen is visible):

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

Picking Abloy Classic

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

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.

Abloy Classic decoder

Abloy Classic decoder

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:

Lockpick village

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Toool regularly gives lectures and workshops. This month, we were at the OWASP-meeting and Hack in the Box. Here you can see Einstein overlooking the table.

LockCon 2014 – the aftermath

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Wow – we are all still buzzing with energy after this years’ LockCon! With a fully packed program spanning three days, there was something to learn and do for everyone. People showed up from all over the world, making new friends, discussing new locks and lock opening techniques and just having a good time in general.

An important part of LockCon is the Toool Dutch Open Championships in lockpicking and impressioning. And, thanks to Jord, this year we also had a lever lock opening competition.

Unfortunately, the impressioning competition was nullified due to irregularities. Therefore, there are no winners.

The lockpicking competition was exiting, with for the first time a Dutch winner. In an exiting final, all three final contestants opened one out of three locks within 15 minutes. The fastest time was for winner Walter Belgers, with Christian Holler getting second and Marc Bromm third place.

The lever lock competition was won by Tomás, who opened all four within the 3 minute time limit per lock(!). Oli Diederichsen became second by opening three locks, Lars Jelonnek was the fastest opening 2 locks making him number three.

And finally, the Toool competition, open only to Toool NL members, was won by Walter Belgers. The second place was for Christian Holler (quite a feat since he only had one day for it) and third place for Jos Weyers.

Our thanks go to all the participants who have made this LockCon a great event. Also many thanks to the sponsors. Abus sponsored all the locks and keys for the impressioning contest. Prizes were sponsored by TOOOL.US, Storm Lock Picks, Sparrows Lock Picks, EVVA, M&C, Knaap Junior, Oli Diederichsen and Douglas Bryant.

This year, other than previous years, we will be selling the remainder of LockCon 2014 clothing. So, don’t wait until next LockCon to see if we have reduced the price, we aim to sell the limited stock this year. Instead of T-shirts, we have made high quality embroidered polo shirts sporting the Toool logo on the front and an image of the Sneeker Waterpoort on the back. These will go for 35 euro including shipping. We also have a few VIP “key figure” polo shirts for 45 euro. To order, send your request to merchandise@toool.nl. The first few people ordering will get a LockCon 2014 badge that doubles as a pin tray, courtesy of Datagram. We’ll be posting better pictures soon.