It turns out just about anyone can open a Masterlock combination lock in under two minutes, in eight tries or less. ArsTechnica has the story. See how it's done.
Have you been looking for bike locks that work? Will only the best locks do? Perhaps you just need a secondary lock?
"Forcible entry has always been a primary goal of the fire service." An illustrated reference guide to breaking in to buildings with the goal of preserving property and saving lives. [more inside]
Picking locks for fun and education!
"This is the lock you got from your parents when you were 8." "I could chew through this lock." Hal Grades Your Bike Locking (2003). Hal (and Kerri) Grade Your Bike Locking (2008). Hal Grades Your Bike Locking 3: The Final Warning! (2009) Skip to the last one unless if you're not truly dedicated to locking minutiae. (via)
You are Medeco, one of the world's premier lock companies. And you think your super-secure locks are tight. Until, that is, some upstart troublemaker comes along, reverse engineers them and shows the world (via Wired magazine--with video, natch) showing just how (supposedly) insecure they are. Then this same troublemaker releases a book giving all your secrets away. [more inside]
Learn to Safecrack! [pdf] Last year, computer scientist and cryptologist Matt Blaze drew ire from the locksmithing community for publically revealing information on how to create the master key to a lock (previous MetaFilter discussion). He's back with a paper on cracking safes. Once again, locksmiths are up in arms over Blaze's disregard of trade secrets. Apparently, safes adhere to the principle of security through obscurity rather than Kerckhoff's Law. [via]
Use one of those heavy U-locks to secure your bike? You might want to think again. It seems the barrel style lock mechanisms some of them employ can be opened by a Bic pen [.mov movie].
Anyone with access to a lock and key can easily create a master key. An AT&T Labs researcher has discovered that most master-key lock systems are vulnerable. NY Times (reg. req'd) reports that the technique is known, but not widely known. For instance, it does not appear in the ubiquitous document formerly known as the MIT Guide to Lockpicking. The AT&T Labs-Research paper is troubling some security experts, one of whom said that the "technique could open doors worldwide for criminals and terrorists." Because publishing the paper "could lead to an increase in thefts and other crimes, it presented an ethical quandary" for the researcher (Matt Blaze) and AT&T Labs-Research.