Forwarded from: Robert Darlington <bobdat_private> I recently reviewed Matt Blaze's paper on Rights Amplification in Master-Keyed Mechanical Locks. While it's very interesting, it's nothing new. Matt very carefully describes 100+ year old techniques that every locksmith that has taken an ALOA master keying course knows. When I worked as a locksmith, I had a very interesting introduction to this technique and a few others. We went to the annual locksmith convention in Vegas. While there, we worked out the master key code by using 4 or 5 other floor change keys in the hotel. Sometimes this is an easy way to make a quick buck when you explain to hotel management just how insecure their locks are. If you're lucky, you score a contract to replace all the locks in the hotel. Of course, you fall back to trial and error if you only have one key to start with, and to test your newly cut keys you have to try them in multiple locks, etc. (Just because 5 different keys fit the lock to YOUR room, doesnt mean that a single one will fit the room across the hall from you). Over the years, I've found that locks only keep out honest people so layered security is a good thing. Nine times out of ten, if the front door is locked, the 2nd floor window is open. :) -Bob -- Robert E. Darlington III bobdat_private Los Alamos National Laboratory (505)667-2719 MS P208 Los Alamos, NM 87544 On Thu, 23 Jan 2003, InfoSec News wrote: > Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private> > > http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/23/business/23LOCK.html > > By JOHN SCHWARTZ > January 23, 2003 > > A security researcher has revealed a little-known vulnerability in > many locks that lets a person create a copy of the master key for an > entire building by starting with any key from that building. > > The researcher, Matt Blaze of AT&T Labs-Research, found the > vulnerability by applying his area of expertise - the security flaws > that allow hackers to break into computer networks - to the > real-world locks and keys that have been used for more than a > century in office buildings, college campuses and some residential > complexes. > > The attack described by Mr. Blaze, which is known by some > locksmiths, leaves no evidence of tampering. It can be used without > resorting to removing the lock and taking it apart or other > suspicious behavior that can give away ordinary lock pickers. > > All that is needed, Mr. Blaze wrote, is access to a key and to the > lock that it opens, as well as a small number of uncut key blanks > and a tool to cut them to the proper shape. No special skills or > tools are required; key-cutting machines costing hundreds of dollars > apiece make the task easier, but the same results can be achieved > with a simple metal file. > > After testing the technique repeatedly against the hardware from > major lock companies, Mr. Blaze wrote, "it required only a few > minutes to carry out, even when using a file to cut the keys." [...] - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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