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Security

Skip the Picks; Expert Uses Hammer To Open a Master Lock (csoonline.com) 222

itwbennett writes: Buyer beware. If it's security you're looking for, the #3 Master Lock might not be for you. In a video, locksport enthusiast Bosnian Bill demonstrates how to open a new #3 Master Lock using a small brass hammer — in under 90 seconds. This video is just one of several videos he's produced focusing on defeating the security of Master Locks, and, according to Bosnian Bill, has earned him several lawsuit threats from the company.
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Skip the Picks; Expert Uses Hammer To Open a Master Lock

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  • macgyver

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @05:24PM (#51036733) Homepage

    how to open a new #3 Master Lock using a small brass hammer — in under 90 seconds.

    The entire video is 72 seconds long. The actual defeating of the lock takes a grand total of five seconds.

    So yeah, technically that is under 90 seconds. But you're really understating it.

    • To be fair, most any padlock can be defeated in 1 second with a bolt cutter. This type of lock is supposed to be used when you just want to keep curious people out, or for liability purposes (you knew an area was dangerous and used the lock to make it difficult to enter, and trespasser intentionally bypassed your attempts to protect him). If I'm trying to protect something worth a couple hundred bucks or more, I'm gonna use something more robust.
      • To be fair, most any padlock can be defeated in 1 second with a bolt cutter.

        And the result is instant evidence that the lock was tampered with.

  • I am sure all the lower end locks are just as easy to defeat.

    • by Copid ( 137416 )
      Being able to open a cheap ass lock that is used in 3 places per city is nowhere near as useful as being able to open a cheap ass lock that's used in 90% of all low security padlock installations. It's like finding an exploit in Windows 10 vs finding an exploit in OS2 Warp. Both are interesting, but one is much more practically useful.
    • If you buy an ACME brand lock and it turns out to be crap, no surprise. When you buy one from the most recognizable name in lock brands it means there are a bajillion of crappy locks out there in the field with a pretty bad vulnerability.

      • If you buy an ACME brand lock and it turns out to be crap, no surprise. When you buy one from the most recognizable name in lock brands it means there are a bajillion of crappy locks out there in the field with a pretty bad vulnerability.

        No, what it really means is people are cheap, and "recognizable" has little to do with the fact that 99% of people will pass over that good $30 padlock in favor of the shitty $3 one. Even the lock picker has stated that Master Lock does offer some secure designs. They just cost more. A lot more.

        Many vulnerabilities against this particular lock have been known for years. Consumers don't care enough to do 30 seconds of research before buying, which isn't surprising. Cheap often goes hand in hand with ig

  • How to pick a lock using a pick (as in pick and shovel)

    The Marines would use a 12 ga shotgun

    • How to pick a lock using a pick (as in pick and shovel)

      The Marines would use a 12 ga shotgun

      Or a well placed foot can open a door, a window, even some walls..... Brute force is usually effective and quick. No real story in that. IF you really want in, there isn't much a $10 lock is going to do to stop you, only now you can open this lock, without the key, without destroying anything in 10 seconds...

    • Did you actually watch the video? He just rapidly taps on the side with a small hammer for about 5 seconds and it pops open. Nothing like a shotgun or mining pick involved.
      • Did you actually watch the video? He just rapidly taps on the side with a small hammer for about 5 seconds and it pops open. Nothing like a shotgun or mining pick involved.

        *racks pump-action*

        *BOOM!*

        "And your point..."

        - Every Marine ever

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          *chuckles* Have you met any Marines? I hold a Ph.D in Applied Mathematics and served in the Marines. (GI Bill. Yay!)

          Now, to be honest, I'd shoot a lock but probably not with a shotgun. Even a slug may not do the job and it is not accurate enough to do at a safe distance. I'd use a rifle, I'd probably dig an AR out for it just for fun.

  • by JMZero ( 449047 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @05:40PM (#51036835) Homepage

    This isn't like "oh, I can eventually break this lock by smashing it", it's "this lock opens if you tap it in the right place". It takes seconds, and requires nothing in the way of fancy technique or specialized tools.

    Yes, we all get it, any lock can be defeated - but this isn't the right story to use that stock comment on. This isn't someone smashing a small lock with a big hammer - this is someone demonstrating how defective a particular lock is, and it makes for an entertaining little video.

    • It takes seconds after hours of practice and years of experience.

      • by MSG ( 12810 )

        Did you watch the video, or are you one of the "80%" who didn't?

        You don't need practice to lightly tap a lock on its side for 5-10 seconds. There's no technique to practice. It's light tension and tapping.

        • Watch the video? That would be almost as bad as reading the article.

          You've probably forgotten the old TV sets that wouldn't work until you thumped them? Thing was, you had to thump them with just the right amount of force in just the right place.

      • a moment to learn, a lifetime to master...

    • by honestmonkey ( 819408 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @06:05PM (#51037029) Journal
      I'm guessing it's more like 90%. "Duh, you can smash a lock, doy doy doy!" Not what this was about at all. Even one of the comments on yours was something about needed a lot of practice, which with this technique you don't. Put some tension on the lock tap it on the side. I suppose that the headline was not nuanced enough. "Skip the picks, just tap the lock on the side".
  • STOP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @05:41PM (#51036855)

    Hammer time!

  • by Marful ( 861873 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @05:56PM (#51036981)
    ... it's quite evident that not many posters actually watched the video.

    The lock isn't being smashed, bashed, smacked or slammed. It's being gently tapped with a brass hammer.

    So mentioning bolt cutters, sledge hammers and acetylene torches is about as pertinent as launching into a diatribe about how Mandarin is a hard language to learn, with all of it's tonal inflections, when the discussion topic is about programming languages...
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      I have actually watched a lot of videos by bosnianbill [youtube.com] and I'm not even remotely surprised by the outcome of this.

      Cheap locks are weak, expensive locks may result in delaying the intruders enough to make it inconvenient to make entry and pick easier alternatives. If they really want to break in then they don't care about a lock anymore but take down the wall instead.

      I have concluded that the weakest lock to be considered are the ABUS Granit [abus.com] series of locks, and that the alternatives are Abloy [abloy.com] and Anchor [anchorlas.com].

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @05:59PM (#51037001)

    You know the old saying "when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail"?

    Who'd have thought it can be right...

  • These guys really have some nerve. You'd think the least they would do is try to avoid the courtroom.

  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @06:15PM (#51037089)

    This a new lock:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    It's on kickstarter now:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com]

    You'd think Master Lock with all their cash would come up with clever ideas like this lock's mechanism.

    • Master is protected by expired patents.... they try to threaten out people who are like them, they don't have anything good to offer anymore.

      • Master is protected by expired patents.... they try to threaten out people who are like them, they don't have anything good to offer anymore.

        Master is protected by trademarks. Everyone buys Master locks because their name has been around since eternity. Most locks will never suffer a picking attempt, so just putting a padlock on something is "sufficient" for most people... to never notice that their lock is shit.

        I have a master lock on my gate, but any asshole can cut my chain and replace a link with a quick link and even I probably won't notice for days. The chain is there to stop random assholes from driving up my driveway to "ask about their

    • This a new lock:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      It's on kickstarter now:
      https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com]

      You'd think Master Lock with all their cash would come up with clever ideas like this lock's mechanism.

      To come up with a new mechanism would imply that the old mechanisms aren't all that good, and they will never admit that. It could lead to a major class action suite. In the US, the only option for any corporation is to just pretend that there's no issue, and continue to sell the same old shit. Until someone comes along and forces the issue, like this guy.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      The keys seems to be really bad and not holding up - they will easily snag and break off the coding part render the key useless.

  • Back some time ago, Master went to Slashdot to claim they needed some information security about lock-breaking methods otherwise it'd be game over for locks. New cars today come without physical keys and rely on an RFID-like chip that when close enough unlocks the car. Most important things are now locked with PIN-locks or card locks rather than key locks.

    It's basically game over for the products under the Master line... repeated combo locks and key locks just didn't last until today.

  • Not with this particular lock, but another very similar. I bought it when I was 15 or so, for locking up my bicycle. The lock shackle was entirely removable and shaped like a mushroom, the intent being you couldn't cut the hasp because the eyes of the cable lock were in the way. The body of the lock was shaped such that he could tell which way the dog engaged the shackle, so he picked it up, took off his shoe, whacked it, and the shackle popped right out, within about ten seconds of the first time he saw

  • All of this depends on where the lock is. If it's at a remote, unsupervised site, no lock will hold for very long. If it's a cheap padlock at the local gym, not so easy. Some techniques like raking the pins or shimming the bold are quiet enough to work. But even tapping on a lock attached to a metal locker is going to attract the attention of six MMA fighters training with the weights. Even your lookout with his gun is going to get his neck snapped for screwing with their gym bags.

  • I remember back in grade school they did not have a lock cutter. The administration would just whack the combination locks with a hammer and they'd pop right open. I remember one of the non-Master locks popping completely apart and spilling its guts. It doesn't surprise me that it works for other types of locks as well. Locks are, after all, good at keeping honest people honest.

  • Most of those brass lock I had which failed, actually primarily failed because with age you did not even need the hammer to release the pick, just pressing with the hands and the picks released, the mechanism inside or the picks becoming so used that they lost even a small modicum of tension retention. One i am keeping for demonstration purpose you can simply open with bare hands. This happens the more you open and close the lock. I do wonder if this was a new lock or a somewhat used one.
  • If All you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like a lock .

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