Impressive presentations at the ‘Last Hope’ conference

Finally the list of scheduled talks for the ‘Last Hope’ conference is out.

Besides the bigger and better lockpick village that is going to arise at the conference, there sure are a lot of lock-related talks!

I am curious how many locksmiths and people from the lock industry are going to attend this conference. If they are even halfway clever they show up and pay attention….

the 'Last Hope' conference

The one presentation I am looking most forward to is “Maintaining a Locksporting Organization and Breakthroughs in the Community”, By Doug Farre and Jon King

“This presentation will go into detail about how to start and maintain a locksport organization and how groups like these can lead to influential research. You’ll learn how to keep everyone excited about lock picking and how to turn your club into a well oiled machine for years to come. In addition, you’ll find out what it takes to produce a good lock picker and see how anyone can influence the lock industry even after only a few months of being on the scene. Jon King’s research on high security Medeco locks will be revealed in detail. There will also be a demonstration on how to build a tool to pick high security cylinders, and how the responsible disclosure of exploits in the hardware world can make a positive impact for all involved.”

Second is a presentation that is not lock-related, yet given by a legend in his own field: “Technical Surveillance Countermeasures – A Brief Primer on the Arcane Art and Science of Electronics Surveillance and “Bug” Detection from a True Insider” by Marty Kaiser

“The spooky world of covert electronic surveillance and countersurveillance by governments, corporations, and individuals is veiled in secrecy, intrigue, and myth. Few people are well qualified to speak authoritatively about it, and fewer still are willing to. Hear firsthand from one of the most legendary and respected wiretap and bugging experts in the United States about some of the methods and technologies used, some case studies, and the future of privacy and surveillance from an insider’s viewpoint.”

Other interesting presentations that I will visit for sure are:

Escaping High Security Handcuffs By Ray

“Everybody knows normal police handcuffs are no real challenge for lockpickers, even though it helps to know the inner workings and tiny differences of the various models in use today. Less publicly known is that there’s also a variety of “high security” handcuffs on the market, used mainly for high risk prisoners and during transfers. But those also have their weaknesses… This talk will give an overview of the products in use today and their different attack vectors – not only focusing on picking but also bypassing some of the most advanced locking mechanisms used in this field.”

Safecracking by Eric Schmiedl

“Despite many appearances in film and television, fairly little is widely known about how safes can be opened without the proper combination or key. This talk will attempt to address some of the questions commonly asked about the craft, such as is it really possible to have a safe open in a minute or two using just a stethoscope and some clever fingerwork? (Yes, but it will take a bit more time than a few minutes.) Are the gadgets used by secret agents in the movies ever based on reality? (Some of them.) The talk will cover several different ways that safes are opened without damage, as well as the design of one lock that is considered completely secure.”

Strengths and Weaknesses of (Physical) Access Control Systems By Eric Schmiedl and Mike Spindel

“Access control systems are widely used in security, from restricting entry to a single room to locking down an entire enterprise. The many different systems available – card readers, biometrics, or even posting a guard to check IDs – each have their own strengths and weaknesses that are often not apparent from the materials each vendor supplies. This talk provides a comprehensive overview of 20 different access control technologies that focuse on weaknesses (particularly little known or not-yet public attacks) and other points that a buyer would not likely get from a vendor. Also presented will be a model for thinking about access control systems in general that will provide a useful framework for evaluating new or obscure technologies.”

Undoing Complexity – From Paper Clips to Ball Point Pens by Matt Fiddler and Marc Tobias

“This talk will be a systematic approach to dissecting and disabling multiple layers of physical security in locks. In this presentation, the focus will be on embedded design defects in high security locks, and how their discovery translates into security vulnerabilities and the disclosure of such flaws. The attack methodology for high security locks will be reviewed. Demonstrations will include case examples, examining tolerance exploitation, code design analysis, and leveraging the interaction of internal components within a locking system to achieve different types of bypass. The application of this program in the development of covert, surreptitious, and forced methods of entry will be examined. Also discussed will be the concept of responsible disclosure upon the discovery of security vulnerabilities, and how this concept applies to both those who discover flaws and to the manufacturer that produces them, and why the same concept becomes a technical, logistical, legal, and financial minefield for manufacturers. ”

And of course Han Fey and I will do: Methods of Copying High Security Keys

“In this two hour workshop you will learn some new and advanced opening techniques for high security locks from two key members of the locksport group Tool in the Netherlands. Special attention will be given to duplicating high security keys and detailed analysis of modern locking systems. After the presentation, some of the tools and techniques can be seen up close at the Lockpicking Village. You are invited to bring your complex locks or “impossible to copy” keys…. ”

The full list of (almost 100) presentations can be found here. Hope you can make it to the conference and see you there!

12 Responses to “Impressive presentations at the ‘Last Hope’ conference”

  1. Holy crap, Marty Kaiser is giving a TSCM talk?!
    Yeah, if you guys are interested in surveillance at all, this one is a Don’t Miss No Really Seriously Be There kind of talk.

  2. Travis says:

    I really hope they shoot some good video of these talks.

  3. Barry says:

    Travis: I think they do. Last time DVD’s of the talks were available 20 minutes after the talk!

  4. next says:

    Shall we see at last the “Medecoder” in any picture? Or will the LP101 rules keep claiming for this “secret”?

  5. I’ll you see you guys at HOPE! 😀

    PS: Yes,the “Medecoder” will be shown and explained in full detail.

  6. mh says:

    Safecracking by Eric Schmiedl – “the design of one lock that is considered completely secure.”
    Any more info about this yet?


  7. “the design of one lock that is considered completely secure.”


  8. mh says:

    I was hoping for that, because then I could probably borrow some of his great photographs

  9. TOWCH says:

    “Undoing Complexity” sounds awesome. I’m really excited for that one to be released. Systematic analysis of locking security could contribute to UL listings.

  10. Jord Knaap says:

    If we think at all all locks are to be opened it\’s just a mater of time and money.

  11. Julian says:

    Wish I could be there. Some of the essentials we will read here, but it can’t replace being there personally, sigh!

    Barry, in your announcement “And of course Han Fey and I will do…” you mention the “locksport group Tool in the Netherlands”. Hope you didn’t lose the “open”, but only the “of”.

  12. Barry says:

    Julian: Thanks for pointing that out. Don’t worry, we will remain Open 😉

    It seems someone ‘spell checked’ the text before it was put online, and I just copied and pasted it from their webpage.