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THE SIDEBAR: MARC WEBER TOBIAS

PART I: THE MEDECO® m3 MEETS THE PERILOUS PAPER CLIP: Is Your Security at Risk?

DETAILED ANALYSIS: THE MEDECO m3 MEETS THE PERILOUS PAPER CLIP

You will need a password to access the detailed report. Please register at www.security.org. The password has also been posted on ClearStar.

View the video: Security vulnerabilities of the m3

This is the first of a four-part series with regard to Medeco® security. Part II will detail the methodology we developed to bump these cylinders. Part III will examine the procedure that is employed to pick these locks. Part IV will detail what we perceive as design deficiencies that allow certain of the Medeco® deadbolts to be easily bypassed. All of the information is based upon material in the High Security Supplement to the latest edition of LSS+.

The reader should review the cautionary notes regarding statements made within this report. See Legal Issues.

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A piece of wire or a specially-formed paper clip can be utilized to bypass the slider mechanism in the m3. In combination with other techniques, this can result in a total bypass of the key control for a facility with regard to the acquisition of restricted blanks and the replication or simulation of keys.

The Medeco® m3 cylinder was developed primarily to extend the Biaxial® patent (which expired in 2005) so that the company could continue to dominate the U.S. high security lock market and protect its unique rotating tumbler technology. The m3 is UL 437 and ANSI 156.30 certified which Medeco® represents as a guarantee that its security can be relied upon for the most sensitive of installations such as the Pentagon and the White House. Based upon our research during the past year, there may be some security vulnerabilities relating to key control and the ability to reliably bump and pick some of these locks.

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There are approximately 26 different combinations of steps and keys within the m3 system. This allows for enhanced key control but is the system secure from the standpoint of preventing the ability to replicate or simulate keys, especially for restricted keyways? We do not think so.

In an excerpt from the High Security Supplement of the latest edition of LSS+ we examine the m3 in terms of potential key control issues and the possible susceptability of this lock to other forms of covert bypass. A comprehensive examination of the subject is contained in the third edition of LSS+ (the multimedia edition of Locks, Safes and Security) by the author.

®Medeco is a registered trademark of Medeco Locks.

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