Archive for February, 2009

Fair warning for those playing with magnets …

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

I remember when someone first showed me a ‘todesmagnet‘ (magnet of death) and warned me it was a real dangerous item. Dangerous because it could open (older generation) Winkhaus Bluechip locks, but even more dangerous because you could get really hurt if your finders ever came between the magnet and something metal.

auw :(

Yesterday my good friend Rop mailed me a link to a story by someone who had a ‘small accident’ with magnets that were even more powerful as the todesmagnet. And that person had to pay dearly for his mistake. The image above shows you two magnets with the remaining of his fingertip in between. Click the image to read what happened to him when he was playing with heavy magnets. Only click it when you don’t have a weak stomach (or just had lunch).

New safe-opening weekend March 20,21,22

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Traditionally Rob Zomer and Paul Crouwel organize a “safe opening weekend” every year. And this year is no exception. On March 20,21 and 22, they will (assisted by a group of other experts) try to open some of the 33 locked bank safes that were collected over the year and are waiting to be opened on a terrain in Haarlem (NL).

Martens Rosengrens safe LIPS VS safe

The ‘safe opening weekend’ is a very internationally oriented event and this year people from the US, France, Spain, Germany and the UK have shown interest in attending.

Even though we have a relatively large group of people working the safes, it will most likely not be possible to open all 33 safes in one weekend. Some safes on the top of the list are a martens rosengrens and a couple of Lips bank safes (like a Lips Europlanet, LIPS VS and Lips TAR).

safe cracking weekend

In the previous events the main focus was to drill the safes open. This year the focus will shift a bit to picking and decoding the locks, as well as trying a really unique tool that will hopefully open a high grade ‘unpickable’ safe lock…

We will also finally try to fully disassemble the ‘Russian lock‘. This extremely rare and special lock had been analyzed quite far, yet one part still remains a mystery. Hopefully we can fully take it apart this time and get it to reveal the last secret part. I will do my best to capture it on video …

The ‘safe opening weekend’ is meant for safe technicians all over the globe to learn from each other. If you are a safe tech (preferably SAVTA member) and want to attend this event, please mail Paul Crouwel ( If you are allowed in, the fee for the weekend is 60 euro (for food and drinks).

More problems for Abloy Protec? Decoding the pickproof lock?!?

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Having a weblog like this attracts a lot of interesting people. And some people who think they are interesting and just try to feed you with little tidbits of information to ‘tease’ you. Well … I think I have grown pretty immune for that.

One of these people mailed me little over a year ago is interesting though. He claimed to had developed a method of decoding an Abloy protec ‘in around ten minutes, fifteen max’. His real problem was cutting the keys after decoding the lock. During some long talks he explained that decoding a 2, 3 or 4 cut disk was the most easy, without telling me how he did it.

Abloy Protec Decoder

And all of a sudden today there is a video on Youtube, showing the decoding of an Abloy Protec. What you see is some sort of probe tool (made from a keyblank), a scale and a laser pointer to tell you how far the probe can be turned. It seems as if this way you can identify the position of the disc, and the laser pointer will tell you the number of the cut. It is a pity he is holding the lock in his hand and that he is using a cut-away lock that is set to the factory cutaway combination ….

But this sure is a big dent in Abloy’s reputation. First the video of a destructive opening technique and now a video of decoding the ‘pickproof lock’.

I am convinced the person who made this video is very skilled and bright, and I think the video and tool are for real. I would just love to see some more close ups of the tip of the tool and some more info. And that also goes for another strange video that was released on Youtube: Pick Mottura doppia mappa.

If all goes well I will meet the person behind these tools and techniques in a month orso, and hopefully can give you some more details. In the meantime we can all speculate about the tool in the comments 😉

* Update 06-02-2009 (19:15) : the video was removed before it even got 500 hits. It is a good thing I captured it before it went offline …

** Update 08-02-2009: the video became online again on youtube and could been found here.

*** Update 14-02-2009 video was removed from youtube again…

Eating Abloy Protecs for breakfast

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

This is one of these topics that I wanted to write about before, but never managed because of my little break last year.

As you might know Abloy’s Protec cylinder has quite a reputation as being an outstanding lock. For the moment it is very difficult to pick/manipulate (although there are rumors someone developed an opening tool). One other feature is keycontrol: it is quite difficult to have copies made if you do not have the certificate. And in case you need it for a high security installation the housing of the lock can be delivered in an extra strong steel body that is difficult to break and drill. All in all it is a very nice and secure cylinder that many people in the locksport community use on their front door 😉

shortcut to youtube video to bypass Alboy protec

But … as always: if a product becomes ‘too popular’, some clever person will come up with a tool to defeat it. Unfortunately (for us lockpick tool lovers) the clever person came up with a destructive opening technique (instead of a non-destructive method).

But the method of opening the lock is extremely simple and effective (as you can see in this youtube video). In less then a minute the lock is open. Ok, it might not be completely silent, but it sure is fast! … And to make things worse: the tool even seems to work on the hardened version of the lock.

If clever tools show up on youtube, they most of the time can be ordered at Wendt ….