Archive for November, 2018

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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.