Archive for March, 2007

Pandora’s box?

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

pandora's box?

Besides lots of press inquiries we also are swamped with people who want us to open locks for them. For example, yesterday at the Amsterdam Toool meeting someone showed up bringing a 1984 payphone without keys. And yes, we did manage to open it.

box upside down for better light at keywaysThe latest challenge came by mail. It is a big box that contains three locks. The text accompanying the images was: “I have an old trunk/coffin/strong box which comes from Damascus, probably modern (second half of XX century). It has three key holes (traditional keys) but all of them missing. Do you think there is anything that could be done to open it? We have much interest in doing that.”

Looking at the images I think this is not a box with three locks, but a so called ‘trick lock box’. My guess is you need to move one of the round knobs, or stick in a small pin trough a crack to either open the box or reveal the real keyway. But we only know when we visit this person and take a close look at the box personally.

So far we do not know more about the box, but maybe one of the blackbag readers knows this box or has some advice?

To be continued …

The 2006/2007 Toool competition scores finally online…

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Dom Systyem D (used to be my front door lock)

Just one week ago we finally updated the new Toool 2006/2007
webpage. It always takes Paul Boven lots of time and
energy to shoot high detailed images of these locks, and make a nice
web interface where you can see the scores. But he did it and the
results are online.

I like to welcome everyone to take a look at his artwork and click on
the names of the locks to see the detailed high-res images, and opening times…
This year we received quite a number of locks from abroad. Take for
example the Israeli 5-5, Mul-T, Nabob, Peled, Uniferro and Yardeni
locks, or the Corbin from Belgium, or Spanish CVL lock.

After a few rounds of competing, some of the more difficult locks
already stand out. So far nobody has been able to pick the three DOM
locks in this years competition (standard, System D and IX 6SR), as
well as the Mul-T-Lock interactive and the Norwegian Trioving lock.

Last year non of the 26 locks remained closed after one year of
picking, and the year before that only one lock survived.

I am curious how it will turn out this year ….

Working hard at CeBit …

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

If you are wondering why I was a little slow with blackbag, it is
because I was busy preparing for the CeBit conference in Hannover.

CeBit is the biggest consumer electronics tradeshow on the planet. And
ever since we came to the market we have had a booth there, and every
time it has been a little stressful to complete the demo models for the booth.

It is hard work at the booth, and I make many hours, but luckily there
are some circumstances that make life bearable …

Feel free to drop by at our booth in hall 7 booth D22 for a cup of coffee ….

waiting for Mul-T-Lock’s MT5

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Mul-T-Lock’s MT5 …

It promises to be a pretty secure lock. Besides having the famous ‘pin
in pin’ (or telescopic pin) system, there is an interactive element
in the key. This interactive element is merely a copy protection
mechanism if you ask me. The third security feature is a ‘laser track’
type grove. The pins (called fingerpins) that are set with this grove
operate a sidebar. I must say it looks pretty solid.

I can’t wait to get my hands on two or three of these locks.

You might wonder why I want two or three locks, and not just start
with one?

The answer is simple: I am curious if all locks will have their own
individual fingerpin/sidebar code. I think and hope Mul-T-Lock is
clever enough to do this, and not make the same mistake ASSA made with
the sidebar codes on the TWIN series. If each lock will have its own
individual sidebar code it will be a tough nut to crack. Based on what
info is available on the net.

One other reason to want a couple of locks is to take one or two apart
and look at all parts individually. Sometimes technical drawings (or
even complete video animations) can be pretty unclear. Before I try to
pick a lock I always collect as much information about it as possible.
And there is no better way to understand how a lock works then fully
taking it apart and let the pins and parts run through your fingers
while examining them.

Although I must admit the video animation made by Mul-T-lock does give
you a nice impression about how the lock works.

The video can be found here (WMV 3 MB) … pretty informative if you ask me.

My pickset is itching to have a try at this lock. The name MT5 has
been released months ago, yet I am still waiting to see it available
in the shops.

More on the MT5 when it is available on the market … or do you think
they will send me some samples to review?

to be continued…

Dutch Video available

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

The Editie NL video is available now … (10 Mb)

Or on youtube (for those having problems with WMV files)

Oh Shit ….

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Those were my words when someone pointed me to the new and improved
website of multipick in Germany. Previously they offered a set of 10
or 12 bumpkeys. We tested these keys in our consumer reports test in
2006, and found they were of very poor quality.

However, multipick now seems to have invested seriously in their
bumpkey division.

You can now order individual keys online, and to make things
convenient they included the images of the profiles of the keyways.

Life for criminals have never been easier … Just examine the lock
you want to open (or make a picture), compare with the profile
sketches on their website and order the correct key online.

We have not tested any of multipick’s keys yet, but looking at how serious
they invested in their website I fear for the worst….

Dutch RTL just visited me to shoot some video for a TV item about this
new site and the consequences it has for security in general. It will be
aired on RTL4 around 18:15 today in a program called ‘editie NL‘.

(Video available now, WMV 10 Mb)

Presentation at the German Navy

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

I just returned from a two day trip to Germany. The German Navy invited me
for a presentation, and Han Fey was kind enough to assist me with it.

hand on workshop

For almost three hours I did a presentation about locks and physical
security. I covered nearly every technique in the book, including safe
opening and some rather unknown NDE (Non Destructive Entry) tricks and
techniques. My opening line for the presentation was: “I apologize to
you. At the end of this presentation you will not feel comfortable
anymore, realizing the trust you put in mechanical locks in the past
was based on wrong assumptions. For real security the mechanical lock
is a lost battle …”

It is always nice to receive compliments, and after the presentation I
received many of them. And many people confirmed to me that they indeed
see the physical security world in a completely different perspective now…

After the presentation we did two ‘hands on’ sessions. During these
session the Navy people could try picking, bumping, safe opening and
other techniques themselves. And of course play with the ‘Todesmagnet’
(magnet of death) on an older version of the Winkhaus Blue Chip lock….

Having finished this presentation and the preparations to it I now
have some more time on my hands. Time I will use to post more on this
weblog … thanks for still reading it … stay tuned for more.