Thursday, July 10th: High Security Locks!


High Security Lock. Source: Wikipedia

High security mechanical locks are designed with several conflicting goals in mind.  With the proper key they must open reliably and with minimal effort, even after a decade of wear (tens of thousands of uses) and even if exposed to environmental hazards such as water and dirt.  Without the proper key they must withstand manipulation by a skilled and dedicated adversary who may expend great effort to build specialized tools to attack a specific type of lock.  They must withstand several minutes of drilling or other physical attacks.  And any design meeting these requirements is worthless unless it can be built for a reasonable price.

I will describe some of the more interesting lock designs, and some of the creative attacks against these locks.

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