Lock picking in practice

Hacking is not only about software, not about criminal activities, it is about learning new ways to do things beyond what the manufacturer intended the product to do.

Many years ago, I studied the art of picking locks. Not to do anything illegal, but just to learn about locks and how they work. Most importantly, open locks in a non-destructive way the manufacturer certainly did not intend to open. I bought a lock picking set and a practice lock. Over the years I collected some other locks, formerly used in real life. I finally got a chance to show off my skills.

Southord C-801 lock picking set Two weeks ago I received a call from a friend, asking whether I was still into hacking things. “Sure, you know me” I replied. He explained that he had a job to do tomorrow, but the motorcycle case he used to take his equipment was locked and he forgot to take the key with him. Of course I packed my tools and met him that evening.

Wow, this would be the first time I bring my lock picking skills in practice! I was a bit worried that these real life locks would be harder than anything I ever tried before.

Picking the lock

The case was locked with a Yale Y110/30 padlock. To get started I googled it to see whether there were any reports about picking that type of lock. I found this video of that lock being picked.

So I picked up my tools, selected my long rake and… Even before the video was finished playing, a crisp click and the padlock sprung open! Whoohoo, that earned me a beer!

More information

When you want to give lock picking a try, you can order a beginner set online easily. Some detailed guides can be found here and here

If you still feel secure about having your valuables at home with your doors locked, then you must read about bump keys and core pulling. I’ve selected two very short (<30s) videos about bump keys and core pulling for you to show how easy these techniques are.

Hacking is a way of life, never stop learning.