We wouldn’t mind tearing down a fingerprint scanner, but we hate to bust up our expensive laptop or cell phone. [Julian], however, got a hold of a fingerprint scanning padlock and was willing to tear it apart for our benefit. The video appears below.
The padlock is a simple enough little device with a cable lock instead of a solid metal shackle, although we have seen similar devices with traditional shackles. Initially, the lock’s fingerprint storage is empty and it will open for any fingerprint. The first task is to set an administrator fingerprint. You’ll need that fingerprint to set up other fingerprints or to reset the unit. Of course, what we are really interested in is what’s inside.
[Julian] heard a motor inside when the lock operates. Once he gets familiar with the basic operation, the tools come out. A padlock should be difficult to crack open, but it looked like it was fairly simple to open. In fact, it looks like the fixed cable anchor screws in, so if you can rotate it enough, you can defeat the lock.
The motor operates a cam when the cable pushes into a microswitch and that cam grabs the locking pin. At first, it didn’t look like there were a lot of electronics inside until the battery came out. Yes, you do have to charge the padlock using USB.
The sensor itself is pretty opaque — just an anonymous module. If you really want to know how they work, we covered that. The lock itself doesn’t seem to be very secure and — as we’ve seen before — fingerprint scanners aren’t that secure anyway.
8 thoughts on “Teardown Of A Fingerprint Padlock”
The one on ultrasonic looks interesting. Wonder if that and capacitive could be combined?
As usual with those stuff, high-tech lock concentrates on being high-tech, but forgets how to be a lock.
This one is relevant.
The Gallium Gambit is even more entertaining:
Now that is a stunning demo. I have seen Lead and Heat do similar things to gold and silver.
Can’t believe the video gets to the end, where the fatal flaw is revealed, and then he says “You’ll have to be the judge” *without trying it!
I suspect it’s trivial to undo the loop when it is locked, but he doesn’t even give it a go.
I think somebody with no technical skills at all could of accurately guessed it uses a electric motor and cam.. The chip is the only thing interesting and it’s not covered..
Every product is made from small part . your phone , TV , computer….,its all same .but do you see how hard people start to make a new product, have a good idea to convinent people . i just feel ur are a smart engineer after i saw this video . so do you have some good idea after you test that fingerprint lock ?
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