August 20

Copying a Key by Listening to It in Action

Cryptography

0  comments

This post was originally published on this site

Researchers are using recordings of keys being used in locks to create copies.

Once they have a key-insertion audio file, SpiKey’s inference software gets to work filtering the signal to reveal the strong, metallic clicks as key ridges hit the lock’s pins [and you can hear those filtered clicks online here]. These clicks are vital to the inference analysis: the time between them allows the SpiKey software to compute the key’s inter-ridge distances and what locksmiths call the “bitting depth” of those ridges: basically, how deeply they cut into the key shaft, or where they plateau out. If a key is inserted at a nonconstant speed, the analysis can be ruined, but the software can compensate for small speed variations.

The result of all this is that SpiKey software outputs the three most likely key designs that will fit the lock used in the audio file, reducing the potential search space from 330,000 keys to just three. “Given that the profile of the key is publicly available for commonly used [pin-tumbler lock] keys, we can 3D-print the keys for the inferred bitting codes, one of which will unlock the door,” says Ramesh.

About the author 

Agent 86

Maxwell Smart, agent 86, is CONTROL's top spy (except for Bannister) and, later, the Chief of CONTROL.

You may also like

Brexit Deal Mandates Old Insecure Crypto Algorithms

Brexit Deal Mandates Old Insecure Crypto Algorithms

On the Evolution of Ransomware

On the Evolution of Ransomware

Russia’s SolarWinds Attack

Russia’s SolarWinds Attack
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter now!