Saturday, 28 April 2012

Locks or puzzles, or both?

For the past few months I have been learning about lock picking after getting an email from stumbleupon suggesting the website for toool, the open society of lock pickers. And from there I found some very interesting videos by a guy called Deviant Ollam, I'm not sure that is his real name but the videos were extremely illuminating!

I discovered two interesting things; lock sport and physical security. The former is the idea of treating a lock as a mechanical puzzle and the latter is working on how to improve security and exposing problems with locks so that they may be fixed or avoided.

A lot of people would think it is a bad idea to publicise methods that could be used to commit crimes but it is clear that lock picking is generally not the method of choice for burglary and that by showing just how insecure some locks are people are more likely to choose wisely at the hardware store. An example is a small cash box I own, I discovered it could be opened with a small screwdriver and a paper clip in 3 seconds. My colleague could do the same after perhaps 10 seconds, 5 seconds of that was getting instructions from me!

So I have a few picks and a few locks and am learning a lot, it is really quite fun. It is interesting to see locks in a new light, before I thought of them as absolute seals but now I see them simply as devices, each having pros and cons and limits to its security. As my knowledge grows I feel more and more that it is my morals that keep me out than any lock. The average burgular does not have these morals or indeed the skills but he does not need them as he wields a hammer!

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