Monday, January 18, 2016

This is why we can't have nice things

Smartphone photo of lock keyways enough to produce ready-to-print CAD drawings for key:
Hackers have been gifted with an online web service that can produce blueprints for 3D printed keys from nothing more than a photograph of a lock.
The KeysForge application developed by an academic trio drastically simplifies the complexities in developing keys, allowing amateurs to snap a photo of a lock and have the respective key 3D printed. 
University of Colorado infosec assistant professor Eric Wustrow and two colleagues revealed the work at the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg last month. 
"We made an automatically generating 3D model program [which] takes a single picture of the keyway (lock) and produces a model in CAS (computer assisted design)," Wustrow says, adding that a smart photo photo will suffice. 
"You can then take that model and print it on a 3D printer or ship it off to Shapeways or whatever.
Double gah.  It will cost you eight cents to print the key.

Happy Monday, everyone!


doubletrouble said...

I'm assuming that will only Ive you a key way blank, no?
A pic can't see the internal pin arrangement, which is necessary to actually unlock a pin (or disk) tumbler.

Iron City said...

Would it be poetic justice if when you opened that door you just printed the key for (because you are so smart) was a very hostile fellow with the 9mm he just 3d printed, along with the ammunition?

More practically, how do you get a picture of the pins and how they are set without some kind of illuminated borescope camera thingy...or taking the lock apart?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Looks like it only gets you a blank. Getting an actual key from it requires knowing how to work out the pins and file it down properly.

waepnedmann said...

A fair number of years ago, in another life, I lost the only key to the tool boxes of utility body of my work truck.
I lived in a small community on the Oregon coast.
The local and only locksmith was a member of the old hippy contingent of our community.
I took my truck to him expecting to have the lock cylinders drilled out.
The locksmith, who bore a striking resemblance to the Fuzzy Curmudgeon's avatar, took a penlight, peered into the key way, went back into his shop, cut a key which opened the tool boxes on the first attempt.
He told me that it was rather common to have tourists lock themselves out of their car after having thrown the keys on the floor mat.
He said if he can see the key that he can cut a replacement with a 99% success rate.
I do not know if he gifted or skilled, but it was amazing demonstration of human ability.

R.K. Brumbelow said...

@Jake, given the right knowledge and enough age on the lock, one should be able to see variable wear patterns. More wear on a pin = higher pressure from the key = higher lift, if you then know the maximum and minimum lifts you should be able to derive the pattern of the key, or at least substantially narrow it down. A photograph of the interior pins would reveal the wear, without disassembling the lock.

Old NFO said...

Oh 'thank' you... Some days it just doesn't pay to chew through the straps... And I agree, meet that sucker at the door with a 3D printed pistol! :-)

matism said...

waepnedmann nailed it. If you can see the key, or better yet get a picture of one that is valid for that lock, a person with decent locksmithing skills can make a useable copy. Social engineering is your friend. Find an extrovert who has access to the area you want, and schmooze a bit. For each model of lock, there are a specific number of pins used, and a limited number of correct lengths for each pin. And a casual visual inspection by a knowledgeable person will let them know what the code is for that specific key. To the point that someone with a quality 3D printer could print not only the blank, but the useable key in one step.