Friday, 7 November 2008

That whole key copying thing

(Context: The UCSD system that copies keys from a picture).


Yale keys are extraordinarily easy to copy, because they're symmetric, and only have 5 pins, and each pin only has a few settings. People have known this for years.

This is why safes don't use symmetric keys, and they use a lot of settings, and they don't use pin settings at all. They use disc-based locks that are assymetric (each side "looks" different, so if you have a picture of one side you can't actually reconstruct the lock settings), they have a lot of disks (so that you can't remember them easily), and they have very subtle changes (so that you can't easily remember or use software to work out the precise disc necessary based on a simple visual).

Yale keys are also easy to bump and can be picked trivially.

Don't use them.

Good home key set? Abloy Protec. Only thing it's really lacking is the assymetric part, but it's got I believe 11 small discs and each has like 10 settings. Much more secure anyway.