Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2002/160
Cryptology and Physical Security: Rights Amplification in Master-Keyed Mechanical Locks
Abstract: This paper examines mechanical lock security from the perspective of
computer science and cryptology. We focus on new and practical
attacks for amplifying rights in mechanical pin tumbler locks. Given
access to a single master-keyed lock and its associated key, a
procedure is given that allows discovery and creation of a working
master key for the system. No special skill or equipment, beyond a
small number of blank keys and a metal file, is required, and the
attacker need engage in no suspicious behavior at the lock's location.
Countermeasures are also described that may provide limited protection
under certain circumstances. We conclude with directions for research
in this area and the suggestion that mechanical locks are worthy
objects for study and scrutiny.
Category / Keywords: applications / applications / locks; rights amplification; novel applications of cryptanalysis; related key attacks;
Date: received 22 Oct 2002, last revised 16 Feb 2003
Contact author: mab at crypto com
Available format(s): Postscript (PS) | Compressed Postscript (PS.GZ) | PDF | BibTeX Citation
Note: Also available at http://www.crypto.com/papers/mk.pdf .
Revised final version (6 February 2003)
Version: 20030216:175626 (All versions of this report)
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