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OPENING LOCKS BY BUMPING IN FIVE SECONDS OR LESS: Is it really a threat to security?

How a lock is bumped: the physics

See the WPIX NEW YORK news story on bumping at

See the detailed White Paper at

See Bumping of locks: Legal issues in the United States

See the security alert at

See the resposne to the ALOA editorial at OpEd on this site.

See Spectrum On Line at

See the feature article at by the author and at

A report was released on March 22, 2006 in the Netherlands regarding the vulnerability from bumping of more than 80 different pin tumbler locks that are manufactured or utilized in that country. The findings were researched and produced by Dutch Consumentenbond, the most prestigious Dutch consumer protection organization . This study was largely the result of significant research that was conducted by Toool, “The Open Organization of Lock pickers” in the Netherlands with regard to the vulnerability of certain cylinders. Their tests and that of Consumentenbond demonstrated that many locks could be opened within seconds by an unskilled individual with less than one hour of instruction.

The author previously addressed this issue in LSS+, the multimedia edition of Locks, Safes and Security, and in an article published in the ALOA magazine KEYNOTES in January, 2005. A White Paper had also been issued by members of Toool. Although the Netherlands tests showed that many locks could easily be opened with little skill, there are many variables that can affect the ability to compromise a lock in this manner. As a result, a detailed analysis of the threat level to physical security posed by bumping is now available.

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