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h2k2 lockpick-workshop

H2K2 lockpick-workshop


Lockpicking is the art of opening a lock without damaging it or using a key. Due to the existence of special lockpicking sports clubs, lockpicking is gaining popularity fast. In Europe, two lockpicking sports groups exist. With over one thousand members, the German 'Sportsfreunde der Sperrtechnik' is by far the biggest. In the Netherlands, 70 recreational lockpickers are united in a club called TOOOL, or 'The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers'.


Thanks to De Waag's broadband sponsoring, we can now offer you video registrations of a couple of lock security workshops. These workshop where recorded at popular hacker conferences like the 2600 hacker magazine conferences in 2000 and 2002, the 21st CCC congress in Berlin December 2004 and at 'What the Hack' in the Netherlands June 29 2005.

Bumping Revisited 97 minutes, Windows Media

A technique called 'bumping' can open most mechanical pin-tumbler locks damage free, in little time, with little training and using only inexpensive tools. Even a number of high security locks can be rapidly opened damage free with this technique. When this message hit Dutch media all hell broke loose. There where even questions asked in Dutch parliament. Some part of the lock industry decided it was time for some good old snake oil. They claimed there is no threat and even advised people to 'go to sleep safely' without fixing the problem.

In this workshop Barry Wels and Han Fey will react to these statements, explain how bumping works, demonstrate on stage how easy it is to make your own bumpkeys and show what lock manufacturers have (tried to) come up with to protect their locks against this problem.

Impression of the Dutch Open 2005 lockpick championships. 17 minutes, MP4 (quicktime)

Sam Nemeth filmed the finals of the Dutch Open 2005 lockpick championschips. Ine Poppe interviewed Dr. Torsten Quast from Berlin who won the games.

Physical Security Workshop at 21C3 in Berlin 2004 104 minutes, Windows Media

Mark Seiden will talk about why physical security is an oft-overlooked but critical prerequisite for good information security. Software has leaked into every aspect of modern life and now controls access to physical resources as well as to business and personal information.

Barry Wels will demonstrate the so called bump-key method, and go into details of why (and how) this works. Bump-keys can be used to open a wide variety of high security locks without damaging them. On stage some of the most valued high-securty locks are opened. Bumping should be considered a serious threat for locks worldwide. And there is the demonstration of opening the 'state of the art' Winkhaus Bluechip 128-bit challenge response lock with a 39 euro magnet.

Lockpicking at H2K2 in New-York 07/2002 59 minutes, Mpeg VCD

Barry "The Key" Wels returns from The Netherlands to provide details of some high security lock weaknesses and to demonstrate some state of the art techniques of exploiting them. He will tell the story of a company that had the famous line "Nobody can pick this lock" on their website. Of course, this was the ultimate motivation for the sport-lockpickers. This panel is where you can find out if a particular lock can be picked or not. Spare locks are always welcome, as TOOOL (The Open Organization of Lockpickers) is short of good locks.

Lockpicking at the H2K conference in New-York 07/2000 84 minutes, Windows Media

Barry "The Key" Wels and Hans "Unicorn" van de Looy are some of Europe's leading experts on locks. In their first presentation in the United States, they will talk about lockpick "sportgroups" that are very popular in Europe. they will also give a demonstration for basic and advanced lockpickers.

Lockpicking is featured as a part of hacker culture in Ine Poppe's documentary 'Hippies from Hell'.



Reuters: Hacking In The Name Of Security
'A little odd sometimes, but very, very smart'
July 20, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Barry "The Key" Wels picks locks for the sport of it, but also to make a broader point. He fiddles with tumblers and cracks safes for fun, and to alert the security industry to the weaknesses of many locks, which serve as a bulwark of society's physical safety. Locks, whether keyed or combination, melt like butter in his hands. Lockpickers and safecrackers share with computer hackers a common fascination with exposing security "vulnerabilities."
The fraternity of security violators surfaced at a rare meeting of the U.S. computer underground in New York recently that drew 2,000 Internet enthusiasts and security professionals. "It's real easy, it's real addictive ... to open a lock in two or three pops," said The Key, who is also an active computer hacker and cryptology buff. He's just one of the scores of speakers to discuss in intimate detail how one can beat the security systems found on computers, networks, telephones, radios, encryption, office security cards, keypads as well as doors and bank safes.

Finally we come to some of the most interesting presentations. The lockpicking presentation, by Barry "The Key" Wels and Mike Glasser, was given to an utterly packed room. Wels and Glasser described many common and uncommon types of locks, and proceeded to pick them with great success. Those combination Master locks that are so popular on high school lockers? Takes one second to open any of those with the proper tool, a bent piece of metal that allows the shackle to simply pop out. You might want to invest in better protection for your varsity jacket. Thought your bicycle U-bolt lock was too strong to cut? It only takes ten seconds to pick it with the right tool, a circular pick that mimics any key. This might help explain the two bicycles I've had stolen in New York City. Normal house deadbolts? Maybe 30 seconds. They covered an assortment of high-security locks, such as ones with side dimple keys instead of teeth, 3 or 4-edged keys, disk keys, locks with magnetic pins, and so on. It was a remarkable presentation, and Mr. Wels especially represents a true hacker in every good sense of the word. He suggested starting at or or if you'd like to try your hand.


More information on lockpicking as a sport can be found on the TOOOL and 'Sportsfreunde der Sperrtechnik' webpages.
The best place to find other lock-security related information is
Or contact


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