Locksmiths Pissed Off At Geeks For Letting Out The Secret: Lockpicking Is Easy

from the without-the-internet,-we'd-all-be-safe dept

As I've mentioned before, back in high school, I had an art teacher who taught me both how to pick locks and how to make lockpicks (it was a fun class). Since then I've always been fascinated by the whole process of picking locks, though I haven't kept up with the field or even picked a lock in years. However, there is a huge community of folks online -- many coming from the tech/hacker community -- who spend a lot of time exploring lockpicking, and talking about it in great detail online. And, as Gizmodo notes, this is pissing off some locksmiths. What's not stated overtly is the obvious reason, and it's the same for any professional system that requires "certification." It's rarely about making sure people are good enough, but has everything to do with limiting the competition to keep fees high. The locksmiths aren't really so worried about criminals learning how to pick locks online (even though some claim that). They're worried that people won't need to call locksmiths anymore when they get locked out of their homes. On top of that, the lock companies hate to admit that their locks are pickable (they are), and so they hit back at those who prove it, just as software companies hate to admit that their software has vulnerabilities. Over time, perhaps locksmiths and lock companies will recognize that an enthusiastic hobby community that helps make sure locks are more secure can only be a good thing.


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  1.  
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    Rolle, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 12:25am

    Word!

    Right on bro!

     

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  2.  
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    Allen (profile), Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:20am

    What secret?

    You only need to lock yourself out once to see how ridiculously quick and easy it is to pick a lock.

    All you need is the right tools. And look there you dont even have to make them your self - right here on this page Ads by Google have conveniently pointed out where to buy them!

    Reading the article "Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently gave the pastime a further boost, confessing that he has been a picking enthusiast since he was a student."

    It all becomes clear: It's a conspiracy!

     

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  3.  
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    zcat, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:27am

    The sixties just called, they want their texfiles back..

    Hasn't lockpicking been part of geek/hacker culture since way back before teh intarweb?

     

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  4.  
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    Third, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:41am

    This is the third comment.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:54am

    I never found lockpicking particularly easy :(

    But yeah, it's not something that takes years and years of training to get. It may take years and years of practice to do *really well* (there are competitions for lockpickers where they open locks as fast as possible, some of them are actually pretty scary to watch), but no need to waste $100 on a locksmith callout if you lock your door behind you.

     

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    bubba, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:55am

    interesting but they were not really pissed

    if you read the article you see there is one story about a guy who went to a locksmith shop and tried to get some info. who knows how he presented himself there but im kinda thinking the locksmith was in the rightm for asking him to leave. the other lockmsiths are not so much pissed really, they just seem to acknowledge yeah it will hurt their businesses and yeah maybe the wrong people will get this info....

     

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  7.  
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    Mr Big Content, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 3:17am

    Knowledge is Dangerous

    This kind of knowledge is Too Dangerous for ordinary mortals. The World is Not Ready for it. If it doesn't say "Locksmith" in your job description, this kind of information can Destroy you and turn your Brain Into Jelly.

     

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  8.  
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    Peter, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 3:18am

    As you say, the right tools

    I learned to pick locks with bent bits of metal, self taught, after taking them apart. Then a mate in the business showed me a 'gun'. Yeehah. The ultimate tool. Like you say, its not rocket science . .

     

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  9.  
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    Bravest343, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:07am

    Lockpicking

    Locksmith's have to face reality, where there's a will there's a way. So what if Geeks let out the secrets to lock picking, that should make companies that make locks for our security at home start using the few marbles in their heads and start coming up with some better locks so that we can feel safe!

     

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  10.  
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    johnny c, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:18am

    Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    I needed new springs for my garage door and everyone said it was so dangerous and I had to have a professional do it, not true at all. It took us about 2 hours and it was a little harder than changing a tire. I have the feeling most niche trades like this are also trying to limit the competition and keep prices elevated.

    Don't fear the garage door...I lived to tell about it

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:07am

    Re: What secret?

    You only need to lock yourself out once to see how ridiculously easy it is to get an extra key and keep it someplace safe and readily available.

     

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  12.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:17am

    Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    Have you ever had a mechanic replace your break pads and then the next time did it yourself? That's a quick way to feel ripped off.

     

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  13.  
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    virtuadept, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    Doesn't Follow

    "Over time, perhaps locksmiths and lock companies will recognize that an enthusiastic hobby community that helps make sure locks are more secure can only be a good thing."

    By that logic, we should welcome virus writers, data thieves, and malicious hackers as a "good thing" because they help make operating systems more secure.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: What secret?

    And unless its a two-bit theif they only have to watch you for about a week to find out where you keep it if you don't have it in the obvious places like ontop of the door jam or under the welcome mat or in a 'hide-a-key' fake rock, or near a lawn gnome or other decorative object....

     

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  15.  
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    Haywood, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    Depends on the lock

    While most front door locks are mass produced, sloppy fit, huge tolerance junk, some locks are precise works of art. I'm not saying they can't be picked, it would be however, time consuming & require above average dexterity. A construction firm owner owned my house previously, and some of my passage doors have near vault quality locks. I was for a while apprenticing as a locksmith for a while, and we re-keyed my house as an exercise, some of those locks were amazingly close tolerance.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:36am

    Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    So true, most people are either lazy or feel that because they don't have a "qualification" they can't do something.

    Bit like my mate who ended up paying £90 for a plumber to tighten a leaky valve. He sure felt like an idiot when it took a wrench and 30 seconds.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    True, he'll also know where you hide your tinfoil hat!

    How many days will a non-two-bit thief have to watch you for the ONE DAY you lock yourself out and go for tie hide-a-key? lol. C'mon. Or hide one in your car.

     

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  18.  
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    Haywood, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    I've done 2 garage door springs, and it isn't a walk in the park. It is doable by a skilled DIYer, but the tension required could hurt you bad if you got in the way of an accidental release. I'm just saying....

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    You forgot to reference the who fiasco with the kryptonite bike locks that could be opened with the barrel of a BIC pen. The publicity resulted in a recall and a better lock. Much better for everyone involved.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    i've always said

    If I wanted to break into a house I would back a truck into the side of it. For the most part it's just sheet rock and siding.

    Back your truck into and then drive off after the back the truck is loaded. Then drive off.

     

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  21.  
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    Jake, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:20am

    I actually feel for the locksmiths here. If people realised how much of my A+ Certification training consisted of stuff I'd already figured out on my own just from working with a home computer and being too penniless to hire a repair guy, I'd be out of a job!

     

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  22.  
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    Greg, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    To virtuadept:

    Uh, no. We should welcome security enthusiasts who probe systems, find vulnerabilities and publish their results, not virus writers, etc. You're lumping people with no malicious intent (lockpicking enthusiasts) in with people who are malicious. Your analogy is wrong.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Remote, keyless entry FTW!

     

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  24.  
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    advocate, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:58am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    I would say a more correct analogy would be to say that we should welcome amateur firewall writers and antivirus creators. If there were than more than three or four companies would be used at everyone's homes.

    Symantec is the quickset of the anti-virus world and most people don't realize anything but them and McAfee exist. If we had more anti-virus companies perhaps symantec and McAfee would work more on making computers secure and less on features that slow it down with no improvement in real security.

     

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  25.  
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    hegemon13, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Your comment is completely off base. Virus writers, data thieves, and malicious hackers would be akin to vandals and burglars, not lock-picking hobbyists.

     

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  26.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    Ever changed your brake pads only to discover that you really should have taken it to a mechanic because the pads weren't the problem the rusted/busted brake line and caliper were at fault?

    My dad owned a diesel repair shop that I worked at when I was younger and I can teach you how to change your brake pads but I can't teach you to diagnose; that only seems to come from years of experience. I can diagnose a ton of cars simply by the noise they make or a combination of other symptoms, without opening the hood usually: spun bearing, rod knocking, valve chatter, burning oil, rich fuel mixture, blown head gasket, etc. all came from years of experience, not reading about it online or in a book.

    I'm not saying that you can't do that yourself but there's a reason you pay a mechanic and they only laugh if you get in the middle of a repair job and then have to take it to them to fix everything you broke trying to fix it. Really, they do.

     

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  27.  
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    Maxwell S, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    You're right, it's not that dangerous with the right tools and a little patience. The problem is when Joe Homeowner eyes that big screw and says, "That'll fit..." and proceeds to have his hand nearly ripped off and the screw drive lodged in the opposite wall. Like many things -- safe if done right, bad news if done wrong.

    PS - here's a hint, instead of the screw drivers try a couple of 3/8 inch by 2 foot steel rods and walk the tension off the spring one notch at a time. The rods should be snug in the whole and make sure that you sink them in completely before trying to move spring.

     

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  28.  
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    Wiser Than You, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:02am

    DumbA$$

    You subscribe to the whole, "Let's publicize security holes for Operating Systems because it makes it safe" bullcrap.

    The reason Locksmiths don't want dumbasses like you publishing how to pick a lock is, locks are there for a reason. To keep dumbasses like you out of other peoples stuff.

     

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  29.  
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    Maxwell S, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    My apologies for the absolutely awful spelling/grammar in my last post. That's what you get to typing and talking at the same time.

     

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  30.  
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    WisconsinGod, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    It's not about how simple it is, it's having the knowledge to determine the problem and solve it. Plumbers know pipes, locksmiths know locks, and techs know computers. Based on some of the comments here, put things into perspective.

    I'm not a plumber, but I'm not a moron either. I could have a leaky valve, but it might take me hours to diaganose which valve is leaky, and then take the proper steps resarching to know whether it just needs tightening, or whether it needs replacing. It may just be a simple leak, but you call in the people with experience because you want it done quick, and you want it done right.

    I'm not a mechanic, but I can replace break pads myself. However, I still usually have a mechanic do it, as if there is an error in installation, I have an avenue of recourse, rather than just blaming myself for trying to take the cheap way.

    Finally i'm not a locksmith, so if I get locked out of my house or car, I'll call one, rather than look up how to pick a lock on my web enabled cell phone.

     

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  31.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Actually, besides your hyperbole there, yes, you should learn to be a virus writer or the like because it gives you insight to how a virus writer thinks. How do you think that security expert get their knowledge? It's surely not by sitting around and talking about how you *think* it works with your friends who work can't use a computer.

     

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  32.  
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    Cloksin, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    New Lock version 2.0

    So if "geeks/hackers" start publishing how to pick locks, and it forces the lock companies to create better locks, does that mean the lock companies will start issuing service packs and security updates for their locks?

     

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  33.  
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    Paul, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:19am

    Re: DumbA$$

    Security by obscurity doesn't work. I want a lock that keeps my stuff safe not because locksmiths are keeping a secret of how easy it is to lockpick, but because its actually difficult to do so. The best way thats going to happen is to find the vulnerable locks (which locksmiths don't want to do, because it makes their job more difficult) by having *lots* of people trying to pick them. You're reasoning is flawed. I don't want it a secret of how to pick my locks. I want it to just be impossible to pick my locks (obviously, impossible is stretching it, but you should get my point).

     

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  34.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    Ahh, the A+ certification, the laughing stock of training certifications. I'm sure that a lot of people put stock in those things but I get more business by pointing out to potential customers that, as you pointed out, most of it is learned by anyone who is willing to tinker even the slightest with their computer, instead I point out that I've been involved with the computer industry for 25+ years. By contrast, my father, who is definitely not a tech, could pass A+.

     

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  35.  
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    some old guy, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:37am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    By that logic, we should welcome virus writers, data thieves, and malicious hackers as a "good thing" because they help make operating systems more secure.

    We do. HOBBY virus writers don't wreck chaos, they write a virus and send it to the av companies. HOBBY hackers are actually called security consultants.

    but obviously you'd so much like to argue with mike that you cant see the difference between responsible hobbies and malicious hobbies.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    Before the Internet...

    There were books, you could find them in libraries.
    Books like In The Steal Of The Night which is about
    auto repossession and lock picking.

    Some people thought this was dangerous and fussed
    about it. Others worried that it would harm their
    guild. It did neither and I suspect the internet will
    have much the same effect, very little. I realize
    that the internet is easier than going to a library.
    So the impact may be marginally greater.

    Even so most people who enjoy lock picking as a hobby
    have no interest in committing a crime. I've never
    liked crossword or jigsaw puzzles but mechanisms
    fascinate me. Locks are generally small and not too
    difficult to solve, so I like locks.

    Very often, and criminals know this, the door jams are
    a weaker point than even a lousy lock. They'll just
    pry between the door and jam then the door pops open,
    knock the door off the hinges, or use a big slip joint
    pliers on the lockset.

    I can't recall hearing of a burglary or home invasion
    where the lock was picked. It's something I'd expect
    coupled with surveillance activities. So the "criminals"
    who are most likely to pick the lock already have acess
    to the information.

     

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  37.  
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    some old guy, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:43am

    Strange noones mentioned it..

    But I actually keep an old hotel card key and my insurance card in my back pocket at all times because of how valuable they have historically been when I needed a door unlocked. (each has their own str/agi stats, some doors require a very flexible card, while with others, the rigidity of the card is the most useful asset to open the door.

    Obviously, this doesn't work with deadbolts, but its ridiculously easy to open most doors that aren't deadbolted.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Re: Strange noones mentioned it..

    Just like in the old secret agent movies...

    That is a good trick, not as useful these
    days. Modern entry sets have a little pin
    at the front of the latch that prevents
    it from being depressed if it is pushed
    in first (a deadlocking plunger.)

    But there are still a lot of old locks in
    use.

     

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  39.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    I knew I was going to piss of a mechanic by saying that.

    Last I saw, a locksmith's job included, but not limited to, picking locks. That is just a small part of their job. When it comes to building locks or determining what kind of lock is best to secure special places, I'd pay an expert. Picking locks is just a small part, just like replacing break pads or shoes.

    When it comes to break pads, it's kinda easy to tell that you only have 3mm of pad left and they need replaced. If I broke a piston rod or cracked the engine block, I'd call a mechanic.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    I don't think any thief, two-bit or otherwise, is going to sit in front of a house for weeks, months or possibly years waiting for someone to lock themselves out. Even thieves have better things to do with their time, like find houses with doors that aren't locked at all.

     

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  41.  
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    Wiley, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    For the love of God, people, it's BRAKE, not break.

     

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  42.  
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    Stephen Adams, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:15am

    Re: i've always said

    Exactly that happened to one of our branch offices. Thieves drove a truck through the side wall of the building, loaded everything they could on the truck, and then drove off. And that building had cinder block walls.

     

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  43.  
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    Ben, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:45am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    "Over time, perhaps locksmiths and lock companies will recognize that an enthusiastic hobby community that helps make sure locks are more secure can only be a good thing."

    "By that logic, we should welcome virus writers, data thieves, and malicious hackers as a "good thing" because they help make operating systems more secure."

    How very wrong you are virtuadept. He said that "an enthusiastic hobby community" made things better - he didn't say that the breakers and enterers did. People who write viruses to expose vulnerabilities and then inform people about it ARE helping - because there's someone else out there who will write it and NOT TELL ANYBODY so that it ends up costing millions of dollars. The people who know how to pick locks don't want you to know how easy it is either - they want you to think you are safe while they break in to your house. The people who are telling us how easy it is are trying to help - exposing a flaw for all to see so that they know how to fix it.

    Shut up. Please.

     

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  44.  
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    Ben, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    Unless your car is extremely valuable, a cracked engine block wouldn't warrent a call to the mechanic, it'd warrent a call to a dealer - get a new car.

    Hahaha.

     

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  45.  
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    SaveMyIndustry, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    It's all about the know how.

    A luxury cruise ship was stranded off the coast, they had been sitting dead in the water for 2 days trying to repair the engines with no luck. Anxious to keep the passengers happy they decided to hire a specialist and fly him out to the ship via helicopeter to get the engines fixed and get the ship moving again.

    The specialist arrived and went to work, while the Captain and the ship mechanics watched and waited in anticipation. He removed what appeared to be a stethoscope from his bag and started placing it on the engine and listening as he rapped on the side with his knuckle. After about 10 minutes of this, he said, "Ahh Ha", removed a ballpeen hammer from his bag and tapped the engine twice quickly in the spot he had marked with his knuckle. The engines, which had been on, but not turning or doing anything, immediately sprang back to life and started running.

    The Captain was ecstatic, until the specialist demanded his payment of $50,000. The Captain said I can't justify paying you $50,000 for 20 minutes of work without an itemized billing, besides all you did was tap the engine with a hammer, anyone could have done that.

    The specialist presented his bill and received his full payment:
    Cruise Ship Engine Repair:
    $10.00 - Tapping Engine with Hammer
    $49990.00 - Knowing where to Tap the Engine

    Knowledge is valuable, and some people feel that restricting knowledge increases it's value, when in reality it only increases an individuals ability to monetize that specific knowledge. As the above 'story' illustrates, if everyone shared the same knowledge pool, there would be no need for a specialist, just as if everyone knew how to pick locks, there would be little need for locksmiths (there will always be some need, I know how to change the oil in my car, but I'd still rather pay $20 and have someone at 'Jiffy Lube' do it for me).

     

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  46.  
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    LANlord, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    One of the oldest documents on the Internet is MIT's Guide to Lockpicking by Ted the Tool. This is nothing new.

     

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  47.  
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    John, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Why are you paying a professional

    Ask yourself this: why are you paying a professional to do a job? Are you paying for his service (which you could do yourself) or are you paying for his expertise and experience in the field?

    Like poster #45 illustrated with his story, professionals are the ones who know how to diagnose AND repair the item.
    In the case of fixing your brakes: such you could it yourself, but maybe a mechanic will find that your brakes lines need replacing and you need more brake fluid.
    By changing the brakes yourself, you might save a little money, but by not adding brake fluid, you could be risking your life.

    The bottom line is what these locksmiths are complaining about: yes, people can pick their own locks, get over it. Instead, they need to market themselves as "release experts" or something similar.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Doesn't Follow

    If we had more anti-virus companies perhaps symantec and McAfee would work more on making computers secure and less on features that slow it down with no improvement in real security.

    No, we would have more companies writing virus' to justify their existence. /tin foil hat

     

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  49.  
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    Safemaster, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Lock Picking

    I've been in the locksmith business for 24 yrs and I never hear a locksmith get upset because some learned to pick locks.

    i have been asked if i could sell pick sets and I turn them down because I'm not in the tool selling business but I do point them to Google search.

     

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  50.  
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    andrew, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Knowledge is Dangerous

    Um...what?

     

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  51.  
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    Larry969, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:43pm

    Is all this so?

    "IF you outlaw guns, ONLY outlaws will have guns."

    In case anyone here didn't know, there have been books about 'lock picking' available for MANY years in the back of magazines. These books taught all there was to know about 'lock picking' at the time. Heck, most of this information is still good.

    The lock companies are just as slow as the government about updating their wares.

    THEN, when they DO, They charge an arm and a leg for the new tech.

    I wonder why people still bother to 'pick a lock'....

    Hmmm....

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    certifiable, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:57pm

    Re: locks/certification

    Certification as in A+ is not about teaching you anything
    but to prove you do have a specified level of knowledge

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    For Gawd's Sake - it's spelled BRAKE. You have BRAKES on your car but when you misspell, you BREAK my balls!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    ServiceLockSmith, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    Emergency call

    Be kept out of doors? In case of emergency, pls remember this Free Roll number(800)-707-0432, which is supported by ServiceLockSmith.com.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    gilbert locksmith, Jun 9th, 2009 @ 1:39am

    oh well

    If lockpicking is easy, then nobody needs a locksmith. Most are still in need of locksmiths.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Robin, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    I actually remember first hearing about those keys that could get into any lock made by a certain manufacturer. There was a flood of fraud on ebay when fake sellers were holding auctions for the keys and collecting money but never delivering any goods. It's a bit like the current trend of fake antivirus posing as real antivirus programs. Thankfully, digital and physical lockpicking are two very different things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Jason Scheide, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:58pm

    You are your own worst enemy

    Hackers and lock pickers are very much alike. You get joy in destroying. You are the little bullies who kick down sandcastles and feel good about it.

    Because of your joy in finding holes in security and then telling criminals how to take advantage of those holes the security business is booming. And you have to pay more for your firewalls and your virus protection and your locks.

    Spadina Security now recommends you have a Mul-T-Lock Hercular Deadbolt on all your exterior doors. A few years ago we only recommended you install a good quality deadbolt.

    The price difference is double.

    And if you don't buy the better deadbolt lock? Well do you really trust the person sitting beside you in that lock picking group? Go ahead give them your address and tell them about the new Iphone you just bought.

    Locksmiths don't hate geeks. We hate taking advantage of people. We want to install value. We don't want to break your budget.

    Bottom line: Our secrets keep you secure and save you money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    West London Locksmiths, Aug 11th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Re: i've always said

    I guess discreet isnt your middle name :D It is really silly though how easy it is to pick a standard lock now days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    John (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    For the love of God, people, it's BRAKE, not break.

    Thank you Wiley. The geek community is meant to be made up of intelligent people, obviously correct spelling and grammar take a back seat to telling everyone how much we think we know about a topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Sep 19th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    Lock & Key Picking

    Great Blog but yeah the Geeks they should not let the secrets out but its ok people don't know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Brannon, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re: Doesn't Follow...again.

    Your ad absurdum argument is missing the mark. Any "ethical" hobby community will always be good for progress and advancement in the field (not so much for the price hiking "technicians"). Of course the virus writers, data thieves, and malicious hackers will hurt the community! Its the white hats who help the systems we use for security. Every year, dozens of exploits are uncovered and shared with computer companies at events like DefCon so they can improve the system for everyone. This is clearly a good thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Brannon, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    'Cause remote systems offer the warm embrace of quality security. At least lock picking requires the thief to be at my front door...not parked down the block war dialing the whole neighborhood and waiting till I leave. Give me analog, disconnected security all day long.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    we do

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Spiderbro, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Until the power goes out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anon, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Re: Why are you paying a professional

    "release experts"

    I thought Asian massage parlor workers already co opted that title.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Bob, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Thieves don't pick locks. They just break windows. Only people who need to pick locks are those that own the windows.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Roberto, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Your comparison is wrong: hobbyists have nothing to do with proffesionals compromising data. The latter can just be compared with proffesionals trespassers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Peter, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Response to: Third on Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:41am

    Shut up Ender.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    ಠ_ಠ, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Your quote specifically says "hobby community". There are plenty of people who make hacking their hobby, and guess what?
    They make our systems safer against those who hack with malicious intent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    uhh.., Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    umm.. actually we do kind of do that.. Many companies including google itself hold contests where they welcome hackers to break into their systems and then reward them in exchange for their secrets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Actually, it's more like white-hat ones that find exploits and report it.

    Your analogy describes that the people learning the lock-picking and sharing it are actually criminals breaking into houses everywhere forcing better security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    LOGIC, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Well... yeah! What he says is that the hobbyists who pick (their own) locks aware beneficial. So finding vulnerabilities in (YOUR OWN) computer could be beneficial if you let the developers know of your exploits. Becoming a malicious hacker would equate, in this case, to picking other people's locks, which he says is NOT a good thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    Except, it isn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anon, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Norton hosts an annual competition open to any and all hackers, whoever can crack their security gets a 10 million dollar prize. So yea, inviting those types is a good thing, because they do in fact make online security systems stronger. This way, you find out who they are and what methods they use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Some Guy, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    It's true, they DO. Do you think Microsoft would find all the security holes in Windows if hackers didn't? Of course not, otherwise, the holes wouldn't exist in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Fail, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    fail

    You failed! :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Answer, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Response to: Third on Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:41am

    I three what you did there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    materlock, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Or you could just keep the spare in a masterlock key lockbox locked to your front doorknob. Those are harder to get into than the actual door lock.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    likeyourstyle, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Exactly. Smarthome has everything you need for a un-jumpable (without cutting through the wall) keypad to with battery backup to control two electric strikeplates for about $300. Nice little piece of mind to have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    likeyourstyle, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Exactly. Smarthome has everything you need for a un-jumpable (without cutting through the wall) keypad to with battery backup to control two electric strikeplates for about $300. Nice little piece of mind to have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    likeyourstyle, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Exactly. Smarthome has everything you need for a un-jumpable (without cutting through the wall) keypad to with battery backup to control two electric strikeplates for about $300. Nice little piece of mind to have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    likeyourstyle, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    Exactly. Smarthome has everything you need for a un-jumpable (without cutting through the wall) keypad to with battery backup to control two electric strikeplates for about $300. Nice little piece of mind to have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Branno, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    You site got it right.

    Security by obscurity has never proven to be really safe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Engineerer, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    You're poking fun at the logic but it *does* work exactly that way.

    Without virus writers and hackers finding the holes, the holes would go unnoticed. By exploiting them, they become apparent and get fixed.

    The main difference is intent - some kid learning how to pick his own locks is different than a kid learning how to pick *your* lock. For hackers, this would be the difference between 'white hat' and 'black hat' - one is finding the holes just to find the holes, just like these hobby locksmiths.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    TWELVETWELVE, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    You are correct, we should welcome them.

    By your logic, we should get angry and swear at people who prove us wrong.
    People learn and improve faster when they have someone to compete against.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    ldne, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    You mean like it says in the installation instructions that come with every new garage door? Instructions you can find online in like 30 seconds (http://www.aaaremotes.com/garagedoorinstallation.html) or in video tutorials on youtube (3,400 videos on spring replacement)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    ChickinSammich, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    From a locksmith's perspective...

    My father has been a professional locksmith for the past 30 years of his life, and has been a board member for various national locksmith associations. Here's his take:

    He doesn't care if you want to pick your own locks or jimmy your own cars. He doesn't even do residential work any more because there's no money in it (he mostly does commercial/industrial/government and works primarily on large master keying and safe installation/openings).

    However, he strongly supports certifications (and has proctored and graded certification exams), not because "locksmiths want to keep fees up", but because FAKE "locksmiths" will try to quote you one price on the phone, come out to your house, DRILL your lock when it doesn't need drilling, then re-quote you a price of about a couple hundred dollars to install a new lock that they bought from Home Depot for 15 bucks.

    The locksmiths who make their bread and butter on commercial work ARE struggling, and some of them have raised prices to compensate. But the certifications are not there to raise prices, they're there to keep give scammers who work out of their trunk and use bait-and-switch pricing from screwing customers over.

    If you can pick your own locks or open your own cars, that's admirable and most locksmiths don't have a problem with that at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    BarryBiscuits (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    Re:

    So close!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    I'm an engineer, and before that when I was 15 I could tell if you the pads had material left on them, then you don't need to change them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Carl Johnson, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: i've always said

    Whoa... lay off the Grand Theft Auto.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Future Third, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    Re:

    I came from the future to tell you you're wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Or not, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    Or fourth. Either way, great contribution to the discussion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Ben, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Re: What secret?

    But if I'm locked out of my house, how do I get to my lockpicking tools?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Bob, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    Easy

    I remember in high school we used to try to open each others' locker padlocks with each others keys. Some types of lock were very easy to open with the wrong keys and a bit of fiddling. I made a simple lockpick at home with a grinder from a piece of flat stainless steel and was able to open many of the budget brand locks :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    And I have a friend that had two fingers torn of working his grades door springs. You really have to be careful out there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Re: DumbA$$

    You subscribe to the whole, "Let's publicize security holes for Operating Systems because it makes it safe" bullcrap.

    Yes. And for security holes in electronic door locks too.

    Hotel Lock Company Wants Hotels To Pay For Fixing Their Hackable Product


    The reason Locksmiths don't want dumbasses like you publishing how to pick a lock is, locks are there for a reason. To keep dumbasses like you out of other peoples stuff.

    Wouldn't a more secure lock do better job of that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    Mike H, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re:

    25 years in the computer biz and still fixing peoples computers? Strong talent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: DumbA$$

    Anyone else hear the Twilight Zone theme?

    I just realized I responded to a really old comment here.

    How does a four year old article get to the top of the top 10 list all of a sudden and start getting comments? Weird.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: DumbA$$

    I meant the "Hot Topics" list, not top 10 list.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    icon
    Adam (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    To be fair, it is actually dangerous, especially with heavier doors. If one is simply competent and mechanically inclined, you figure out that you need to put the door up and tie it in place to take tension off the springs.

    But oh my god, there are stupid people out there. And no one wants to be liable because some idiot couldn't be safe while working with large, powerful springs and a metal garage door/gate that wants to fall back down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    dubious, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Depends on the lock

    Near vault quality? What a medico sidebar, fichet? No pin tumbler is near vault quality nut a corbin or Best are not really easy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    icon
    R.H. (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    With certain older garages (like the one at the house where I grew up) this axiom is true. That door was solid wood and weighed a couple hundred pounds. Those springs...I saw one fly across the yard when it was improperly removed once. I'm glad no one was in the way. The newer springs though, since the doors are MUCH lighter, are a completely different story. Those springs may cut you up a bit if you're not careful but they probably won't break bones ^_^

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    Bo DAng Ren, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:11pm

    Welcome to the debate

    Welcome to the debate over full disclosure. It's not the way you make it appear.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Mario, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    The difference being "virus writers" would be compared to "thiefs" instead of "enthusiasts".

    It's geeks picking their own locks we're talking about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Ever heard of white hat hackers before...?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    identicon
    n8mccall, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Actually, that's exactly what large companies do. Security companies (and I think google as well) have competitions to see who can find a hole in their security, with cash as a reward.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    terminhell, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:04pm

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    Welcome to linux. Openess increases security ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 12:52am

    Re: Re: Re: DumbA$$

    How does a four year old article get to the top of the top 10 list all of a sudden and start getting comments? Weird.

    Reddit just discovered this article. We have no idea why they just found it now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Doesn't Follow

    I guess he forgot about white-hat hackers and security testers. They get paid by companies to test their security.
    Getting paid is a good indicator that you provide a valuable service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 4:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: DumbA$$

    Do not question the ways of the intertubes...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    jtp, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    Best use of the new 'Last Word' feature yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    identicon
    Cooper, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    Very interesting post. 20 years back I learned to pick from a friend of mine. Back then it was like arcane knowledge passed down by people in the know and anyone who might have bought Eddie the Wire's books in nefarious bookstores that also sold the Anarchist's Cookbook. I always loved and enjoyed picking but it actually became quite a pain in the butt during college. Suddenly all my friends had me on speed dial and they all seemed to become less careful about not locking themselves out of their cars and homes! If I had charged them all what a locksmith would have I would have had substantially less student loans to pay back!

    I just finished a new crime thriller called Boxman (old slang term for safe cracker) and I have already gotten some sour comments from people complaining that the scenes are too well described! Oh well...the information is already out there...I just put it to fiction!

    http://the-boxman.com/2012/08/19/the-boxman/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

    This is like auto repair shops whining about auto forums and guides online.

    Not everyone is going to fix their own car engine, just not going to happen.

    Not everyone is going to pick their own lock if it needs it, or replace them if they need that.

    I'll fix my engine and replace a lock, but if I need it picked - I'm calling someone, lol. Gotta know your limitations; and I just don't have time for everything.

    So - whine more, everyone's a techophobe now-a-days; on something...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Re:

    You must mean the comment above yours. Like that movie, you are number four.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2012 @ 5:16am

    Re: What secret?

    What if your tools are locked in?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Just Like the Garage Door Install / Repair Industry

    When it comes to my car, I leave the job to the professionals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Why are you paying a professional

    Now THERE is a job you can do yourself. And it won't cost you anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous locksmith, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 3:22am

    Amatures!!

    Cheap locks are easier to get into that the more expensive type. Basically if you go to bunnings warehouse or any other "hardware stores" to buy your locks then you can safely say that your house is not secure. They are very basic run of the mill "pickable" locks. There are unpickable locks available on the market today and most large organisations have high security locks and access control (swipe cards). So those of you who are playing with the idea may need to think again when fiddling with your locks especially when you have to spend big dollars getting a real professional out after hours to not only get into your house but replace the damaged lock that you decided to play with!!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119.  
    icon
    Chubb Locksmiths (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re: New Lock version 2.0

    Haha - it'd make our job a lot easier if they did this.

    Being a Locksmith in Birmingham isn't easy - every day there's lock pickings and lock bumping to deal with... but if geeks want to pick a few locks and earn us a few extra jobs, we won't complain!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120.  
    identicon
    Rophe, Jan 11th, 2014 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What secret?

    I locked myself out while installing new lock took 36 min to break in learned the good feeling of saving C note. Have many cylinders keys and doors to secure. Was looking 4 anatomy of a lock cylinder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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