Stefan Savage, a UC San Diego computer science professor, has developed software that can clone house keys from photos.
House keys can be cloned from photos taken on normal mobile phones, and even from shots taken over distances of hundreds of feet.
The images are scanned by a digital imaging programme that copies the exact contours of a key to create working duplicates, no matter the angle or distance at which the photos were taken.
Although the software has been developed by university researchers who have pledged not to release the code, they warned that it would not be difficult for technology-savvy criminal gangs to make similar applications.
Quick — somebody tell these Flickr users to hide their keychain photos!