Lock Bumping Revisited


I haven’t really been into lock picking, but after seeing the “bumping” demo from What the Hack I was shocked. The technique is really quick and will work on 90% of locks you’ll come across. You need to create a bump key, also know as a 999 key. This is made by cutting down a key (that fits the lock) to the deepest setting (pictured). Then a little bit of metal is removed from the tip of the key and the shoulder. You insert the key into the lock and because of the removed metal you can give the key a little whack and the key will travel slightly farther into the key way driving the pins vertically. That’s it! Here is a white paper on the subject that will clear it up a little more. Here is the full video from WTH. If you want to skip ahead to 51 minutes you’ll see Barry demo cutting down a key and bumping a lock in about 3 minutes. At 1:02 Han presents bump proof locks TOOOL has tested. Fabienne will be covering some more interesting stuff from WTH on Friday.

UPDATE: Check the comments for Azureus magnet links.

34 thoughts on “Lock Bumping Revisited

  1. hmm, this is what the open spread of knowledge does. i’m not saying it’s good or bad, and i like to see knowledge spread. this is what it does though. before the internet, only a select group of persons knew of a “bump” key. you only learned of it if you happened to know someone that knew it and felt enough trust you wouldn’t use it in a way they didn’t think you should. the internet has enabled these things to become easy to take in though. i applaud this and am unnerved by it at the same time.

  2. anonymous coward, I almost completely agree with you. but how many people do you meet during your day that also read hack a day? a guy behind the wheel of a semi? alawyer? a harvard professor? I doubt they do. people will only find this kind of information if they look for it, so the audience is actually still really small and specialized.

    heck, I thought the cvs camera hack was going to be a big deal until I read this on the MAKE blog.

  3. Furthermore, how many of you Hackaday readers out there will both;
    1) actually go out of your way to make a bump key
    2) actually use it, for purposes other than ‘Hey, this works! Cool!’?

    Any more people that would have found out about this through another method? Very few, in all likelyhood.

  4. Interesting, never heard of or tried this technique before. I’ve been able to pick many locks with just a traditional raking method. I have some key blanks already for a particular door lock system that I was attempting to make a master key for, I think I’ll try one of them with this approach…

  5. I don’t see this as being very useful at all except for a masterkey’d building setting. That, and car keys, because it’s alot easier to identify a car’s lock & key (By the car) then it would be for the average home. A office buidling would use mostly the same key on each floor, so thats easier (unless they use rfid swipe cards, then you need to go look at the old hackaday posts for a swiper), but with a car, all you need is the make and sometimes model (Most GM keys are the same to my knowledge) to get a black to file down.

  6. finally, Eliot’s torrent seems to be working, I’ve got two savvy members in the swarm, both using a random port number to bypass those ISP’s that may throttle 6881. Pile on and we’ll pass it around, I’m sure they’re happy we are taking a load off their server.

  7. ckilla,

    if you have Azureus, go up to Eliot’s post and highlight, and then copy the magnet link. Launch azureus, and hit control-l (that’s l as in leet [fracking lower case crap]) the link should be pasted in all proper like, just hit OK.

    Right click on your torrent and hit “force start”, seems to help a bit.

    Right click again and hit “advanced” and “networks”. make sure all the boxes have an X in ’em.

    one needs the whole thing before one can host a .torrent, I’m at 18% now.

  8. Do any places actually sell these? I tried contacting my local locksmiths, but halfway down the list I stopped because one hung up on me, and the others weren’t polite at /all/.

    “hello, I was wondering if I can get a custom key made; have any of you ever heard of lock bumping?”
    “No. And I’m not interested.” *shun*

  9. Okay so I took my house key to ace hardware and had some duplicates made (because all the notches on my key were pretty close to 99999, and they don’t allow you to make a key with just the numbers). Then I filed them down according to the instructions, but I wasn’t successful. maybe I’ll try again later. I can’t tell if I was hitting the key too hard or what.

  10. Actually, I stumbled across this while looking for info on why I can’t get Magnet links to work properly, not while searching for info on how to pick locks (every time I click on magnet links on mininova it tries to open them in Limewire but then I get an error msg and the link doesnt work – I also had the Azerus problem with it changing the magnet links to all uppercase, if I want to use them i need to retype them in the dialogue box in lower case), so its not right to say the only people with a passing, benevolent interest will find these things.

    Also, bare in mind that you don’t need to be a trusted member of a ‘community’ to find these websites; a google search will find most of them. This is just a consequence of freedom of speech – this shouldnt stop people from posting this sort of info, but you can’t ignore the fact that it will be used for unlawful purposes.

  11. I understand how “Bumping” works now where can I find a guide to cut the key to the proper 999999 requirments. Does anyone know where there is a tutorial or somthing. PLEASE HELP!!!

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