Archive for October, 2007

Some info on the Dutch Open locks …

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

In just a few weeks it will be party time in Sneek.
But we still have a lot of preparations to do….

One of the chalenges we always face is finding decent locks for the games. This year we will be using US style locks for the picking contest.

US style locks kindly donated by Schuyler Towne

Schuyler Towne was kind enough to donate these locks and already send us some pictures of the keyways.

For impressioning we are most likely going to use corbin locks, but I unfortunately I can not confirm this yet as we are having some trouble finding 40 equaly bitted locks for a reasonable price.

And currently I am in the US, manning the CryptoPhone booth at the MilCom conference in Miami Florida, so I do not have much time to spend on the open (or this blog). But I did receive some real nice information that I hope to share with you soon ….

Presentations for the Dutch Open 2007

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

As organizers of the Dutch Open we feel the pressure building up. Will everything work out? Can we satisfy the people and offer them something nice? Looking at the presentations we have to offer I think we can ….

Kick off

Friday around 20:30 Paul Crouwel will kick off the Dutch Open with his presentation: High security safe opening

As regular visitors of this blog know, Paul Crouwel is a highly skilled safe technician that opened many high security safes. During this presentation he will try to open at least one high security safe. Before trying to open it he will reveal his plan of attack and then execute it. When the safe is open it is time to party 😉

And there is more Paul Crouwel will do at the Open:

Saturday 15:30-17:00 Paul Crouwel on combination lock manipulation
(second track)

This will be an intimate class with room for only ten attendants. Paul will explain the basics behind safe combination lock manipulation and hand out ten Sargent&greenleaf 6730’s combination locks for some hands on training. At the end of the Dutch Open these locks can be purchased by the students for a very reasonable fee. This presentation will also be held on Sunday after the lockpick championships (around 15:00).

Saturday 10:00-15:00 Peter Field, lock Pathologist (Lunch 12:00-13:00)

Peter Field has an extraordinary way of looking at locks. Like a pathologist, he cuts locks in many thin slices and captures the result with high quality photography. This unique methods of creating a cutaway view is world renowned. His lectures have been attended by locksmiths, security personnel, lock company engineers and Patent Office Examiners from many countries. And now we are proud to welcome him to Sneek.

Peter Field, Lock Pathologist

He will set a Dutch Open record by giving a 4 hour(!) presentation about many of the different elements of high security cylinder lock design. Combining his unique cut-away imagery with illustrations from old patents, he will explain how engineers classify the cylinder elements, modify them, develop new ones, and re-combine them all to invent new products for the constantly evolving security market. You will leave this presentation with an outline and a clear understanding of the design constraints and functions of most of the various elements you may find in any lock cylinder.

Even if you know a lot about cylinders, or you are just starting to expand your knowledge into the field of mechanical locks you will not be disappointed with this presentation. If you had to choose only one class about mechanical cylinders to attend this year, this is the one to choose.

About Peter Field: he started locksmithing in 1960, and in 1978 was asked to join Medeco Security Locks, where he is now Director of Research. He has over 15 US Patents pertaining to high security locks, with several more patents pending.


Saturday 15:30-17:00 Impressioning By Oliver Diederichsen and Barry Wels.
(track one)

Impressioning is the fine art of opening a lock by filing a key from a blank. It is an ancient technique that still works on an amazing number of (high security) locks. Besides an old-skool locksmith skill it is a technique still in use today by intelligence agencies worldwide for their blackbag operational need.

Image from the book 'Impressioning' by Oliver Diederichsen

Oliver Diederichsen wrote the leading book about impressioning locks (also available in English now) and teaches impressioning courses all over the world. And he introduced many locksport enthusiasts to this fine art. Amongst them Toool president Barry Wels, who over the last months successfully opened at least fifty different brands of locks trough impressioning. As the blank key is the most important weapon of the impressioning artist, Barry invested a great deal of time in finding the correct blanks for European and US locks. A search that is still going on today.

This hands-on workshop will teach and tell you everything we know about impressioning. From the very basics to open five pin tumbler locks till the more sophisticated fifteen pin dimple locks, and more.

Multiple tracks

The good news about the new location in Sneek is there are three conference rooms. This gives us room to experiment with something new. The other two conference rooms will be available for people to give small presentations. Just claim a slot on the chart (30 or 60 minute slots available) and give your presentation to whoever is interested. It is not necessary to send us an e-mail in advance, but we would appreciate it a lot if you did. Even before announcing this we had the following presentations offered:

Decoding Abus Plus/Granit locks by Jaakko Fagerlund

What could this design flaw be .....

This presentation covers one of the most humorous lock decoding techniques I have seen in a long time. Jaakko will describe the major design flaw in the Abus plus style disc lock and explain the basics of the exploit and how it can be done out in the field. And briefly talk about the reaction from Abus.

Lever locks by Nigel Tolley

Lever locks were, until recently, found on the majority of domestic doors in the UK, and are still found on most commercial premises. They are available in everything from a one lever privacy lock, right the way up to the 7 lever Chubb 110, and, of course, with even higher lever counts in the locks found on safes world-wide.

Nigel Tolley, a UK locksmith, will be giving us a brief tour through these locks, concentrating on those commonly found on doors rather than safes, and their evolution over the years, as well as touching briefly on methods for overcoming them, plus a look at some of the dedicated tools for the harder ones. Some locks will be available for swap and demonstration.”

‘Back Dialing’ by Mike van der Stelt

Mike will talk about a technique to easily read the combination of a safe lock if you find a way to view the change key hole.

Congratulations if you have read all the way till the end!

More news on the exact schedule and what locks we will use for the championships in the days to come …

New home for the Dutch Open 2007 lockpick championships…

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Stay Okay youth hostels just opened a new location in Sneek (Friesland). Just 100 meters away from the old one, a completely new hostel was build.

click on image to see Gea Schmidt's virtual tour

I remember wired wrote about the Dutch Open 2004, saying: “The Sneek Wigledam Youth Hostel appears to be nothing special, just bunk beds and a bar-and-breakfast space of unpainted wood and colorful furniture – something like an Ikea Gulag. But to a lock sports aficionado, this is Wimbledon.”

Well … the part about Wimbledon still stands, but the rest is history.

Gea Schmidt was kind enough to show me the building and let me video the tour for you. See for yourself how nice the new location is: Stay Okay virtual tour (50 MB quicktime or YouTube).

The best part is that we might end up using both locations as the old one is also still functional. We are still planning and puzzling on the schedule and the finer details ….

Reservations for the Dutch Open 2007 can already be made … The e-mail address in at the end of the video …

E-voting machines can be used for verifiable elections after all …

Friday, October 5th, 2007

a cartoon by Tom Janssen (Trouw magazine)

Tom Janssen outdid himself on a cartoon about the Dutch e-voting soap in Trouw magazine.

Maybe it will inspire some municipalities to actually use the good old Nedap e-voting machines this way …

* ‘verbeterde stemcomputer’ means ‘improved e-voting computer’

Master of the universe wins German impressioning games

Monday, October 1st, 2007

In the middle (first place) Dr. Manfred Bölker, on the left (second place) Barry Wels, on the right: (third place) Julian Hardt

If there would be a decathlon for lockpickers, Dr. Manfred Bölker would win it for sure. Besides being one of the most skilled lockpickers on the planet, he also takes great pride in mastering all other opening techniques. But that is what it takes to become ‘master of the universe’.

And last week he showed his brilliance again by winning the 2007 German lock impressioning championships in Koln. Nothing new, as he already won in 2001 and 2004, and scored a third place in 2005 and a fourth place in 2006.

This year he made a key for the Abus C83 lock trough impressioning in a devastating time of 7:15.

And in my first serious attempt to compete in this discipline I became second. It took me 25 minutes and 5 seconds to make a working key for this lock. The reason it took so long is it took me two blanks … on my first blank I went too deep on one position.

Only three out of the eighteen people that attended opened the lock this year. Julian Hardt became third in 46:03.

Below is a picture of the original key (code 8 3 6 2 7) and my impressioned key.

25:05 minutes of hard work to make this key
(Yellow paint on blank is a security feature to identify it is an ‘original championships blank’)

A little about the lock:

In previous championships the Abus C83 lock was used. This is one of the most common locks in Germany and all Ssdev members know it inside out.

This ‘inside out’ knowledge was of no use as Abus had other plans this year. The lock was filled with special ‘black pins’ (hardened?). If I understood correctly some of them were even special SKG anti manipulation pins.

And normally the first four housing pins in an Abus are mushrooms and the last one a solid one. But not in this lock. Here the second housing pin was solid while the rest were mushrooms. Not to mention the first pin being a cut eight (normally four or less?).

Abus is a clever company. They sponsor the championships by supplying free locks and blanks, and in return learn from the feedback. I must say I admire Abus for this approach!

In less then two months we will all meet again. During the Dutch Open lockpick championships we will also spend some time on an impressioning workshop and championship. And Dr. Manfred will be there too, trying to win the only trophy missing on his chimney: that of winner of the Dutch Open lockpick games ….

* Update 3/10: Julian mentioned I made a mistake, I mentioned Abus C38 instead of Abus C83. Corrected that now. Thanks Julian!