From: Fred Cisin <>
Date: Mon Sep 27 11:24:13 1999

> Picking a standard lock isn't that difficult, especially with the right
> tools.
> I've never tried an ACE or "round" type lock, but I was always under the
> impression that those were virtually impossible to pick, even for a
> pro?!?

"Virtually impossible" without the right tools.

> For what it's worth - when I worked in the Cooler department here
> at Coca-Cola we used a automotive dent puller (which is a kind of
> slide hammer) to pull locks in vending machines. We had the hardest
> type to break into because we used Abloy locks. I was always amazed
> by how easy it was to break the lock. Just pick a stout machine
> screw that is a little bigger than the key insert hole in the lock -
> insert screw as far as possible - attach screw to dent puller and
> work the slide with great vigor. It didn't take more than one try on
> most locks! Might work - might not. Sure is easy to try.

A slide hammer tends to damage the lock.

> Tubular locks depend on depressing each of the pins to exactly the right
> depth, and the tolerances are very tight. My best guess is that it would
> take -hours- of continuous effort, assuming that a tool even exists for
> it,
> because all the pins have to be held in precisely the right position
> simultaneously.

The correct tool consists of a cylinder (much like the key),
with pins that can be slid in and out to get the correct depth.
In addition to picking it, the same tool then has an "impression"
and can be used for making a new key.

> If you think tubulars are tricky, take a look at the Medeco
> high-security cylinders. Not only do you have vertical pins, you've also
> got a series of cams along the side that are angle-sensitive. That's why
> you'll see the keys cut with angled notches.
> I once heard a rumor that Medeco had a standing reward of $10,000
> for anyone who could successfully pick one of their high-sec cylinders.
> If such a reward does exist, I've yet to hear of it being claimed.

They're hard to pick, but NOT THAT HARD to pick.

> I hope this is never necessary for a classic computer! For the DEC
> and DG machines that I'm familiar with and which used a real lock
> cylinder, all you have to do is remove the front panel, loosen a nut,
> and pull the cylinder. It does pay to look carefully before doing this,
> as when you put in the new cylinder you want the cam in the correct
> position to activate the microswitches.

If it is properly designed and installed, it will NOT be removable
until after the lock is unlocked. Why have a lock that can simply be
removed instead of using the key?
But, then again, wasn't this about an IBM product?
Received on Mon Sep 27 1999 - 11:24:13 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:32:37 BST