This morning I was browsing my usual collection of websites and rss feeds when I came across some really interesting stuff: these guys combined an arduino with some 8 sided magnets to make a decoder for magnetic locks such as the mcs and the miwa. What does this mean? It means that somebody with one of these tools can walk up to your door and if it is unlocked they can stick this tool in and find out what the code is for your lock in a few moments. Then they can go home and program another magnetic key that will then work in the lock. This essentially turns your expensive magnetic lock into a toy. To do the same with an old school pin tumbler lock would take an expert at least a few minutes to impression.
I have a Miwa cylinder sitting around here at Casa de el Bjorno but I don’t think I have the time or nerdiness to attempt anything involving an arduino. All the same, much respect to these guys and l0ckcr4ck3r who figured this out!
On a scarier note, I wonder how long it will be until somebody designs an arduino chip with some lockpicking apparatus and can unlock standard mechanical locks? It would be a really unfortunate game changer because we would all have to buy expensive locks.
Somewhat related, people are making tools to decode smartkey locks as we speak. The process involves filing a kw1 key to a mirror smooth finish so that you can see the height of the wafer after the key has passed it. There are only six possible heights. I have spoken of smartkey insecurities before, so this is nothing earth-shattering.