A service that turns pictures of keys into working keys

Snap a picture of a key and Key Me will turn it into a working metal key: just a reminder that locks probably aren't as secure you imagine. (via Schneier) Read the rest

Small, sharp knife disguised as a housekey

SOG make excellent knives: I know because I had many of them confiscated by the nascent TSA in the early days of the Global War on Terror, that liminal moment when I was still kidding myself that I would remember to empty my pockets of useful tools before boarding a flight. Read the rest

The Gridlock: learn to pick car-locks

Michael from Sparrows Lockpicks (previously) writes, "I am releasing the Gridlock today, a automotive lock teaching tool." Read the rest

The forgotten blockbuster locksport competitions of the mid-Victorian era

Today, organizations like The Open Organisation of Lockpickers Worldwide support locksport with tools, educational materials, training and organized events, but in the Victorian era, locksmiths competed at expositions to show off their talents and show off the weaknesses of their competitors' wares. Read the rest

Love Picking: Locksport meets love locks

All over the world, couples have caught a memetic virus that causes them to festoon fences, trees, railings and other objects with padlocks that represent the love between them. Read the rest

Superb investigative report on the fake locksmith scam

If you've ever locked yourself out of your home and googled for a locksmith, you've seen that it's virtually impossible to reach a real local locksmith. Read the rest

Sparrows practice locks: a great starting place for locksport

Canadian locksport supplier Sparrows makes some of the best advanced picks in the world, but they're also the rank beginner's best friend. Read the rest

3D print your own TSA Travel Sentry keys and open anyone's luggage

Watch this video on The Scene.

The TSA mandates that all checked luggage must be locked with a deliberately flawed lock that can be opened with one of a handful of skeleton keys that are supposed to be kept secret. It's been more than a year since the TSA allowed a newspaper photographer to print a high-rez photo of its universal luggage-lock keys, allowing any moderately skilled locksmith to create her own set. Ars Technica downloaded a set of key STL files from Github, printed them on a consumer 3D printer, and showed that they could gain entry to any luggage.

It's a model for what happens with any kind of law-enforcement/public safety back door: the universal keys leak and there's no way to re-key all those locks out there in the field. The FBI and UK security services are calling for backdoors in all crypto -- the code we use to protect everything from pacemakers to bank accounts. This is as neat an illustration of why that's a bad idea as you could ask for. Read the rest

Make your own TSA universal luggage keys

The image above, published in 2014 in this Herald.net story and credited to The Washington Post, showed the keying patterns for all of the TSA-complaint "Travel Sentry" luggage locks. Read the rest

3D printed bump keys make short work of high-security locks

High-end locks rely on their unique key-shapes to prevent "bumping" (opening a lock by inserting a key-blank and hitting it with a hammer, causing the pins to fly up), but you can make a template for a bump key by photographing the keyhole and modelling it in software. Read the rest