THE BUMP KEY
Article by engadget.com
The Bump Key: A new old threat to the security of mechanical locksThe most popular locking mechanism in the world utilizes the pin tumbler design, first developed 4000 years ago in Egypt and then rediscovered and perfected a century and a half ago by Linus Yale. There are billions of these locks in the world and they come in all sizes, configurations, and security ratings. Some are secure; most are not, and even some high security rated cylinders can be easily compromised. All that is required to open many times of pin tumbler cylinders -- the kind of lock that probably keeps the bad guys out of your home -- is a bump key and a tool for creating a bit of force. The bump key shown above opens an extremely popular five pin lock, and the plastic bumping tool is produced by Peterson manufacturing, although many others are now being offered for sale. With these two cheap implements, anyone -- and I do mean anyone -- can get into your home or business in a matter of seconds.In 2004, this relatively old technique of opening locks was rediscovered by the European locksmith community in Germany and other countries. As the word spread as to the ease with which certain locks could be bypassed, several sports lock picking clubs and notably the members of TOOOL began to examine the issue more closely. Subsequently, tests were conducted by the prestigious consumer research organization in the Netherlands in 2006 and published last March. In early April, we issued a security alert on security.org with regard to the vulnerability of United States Postal Service and Mail Boxes Etc. locks. Two White Papers were also posted, dealing with the security threat and legal issues involving bumping: A detailed technical analysis of bumping and Bumping of Locks: Legal issues in the United States.