Technology

3D-Printed Gadget Cracks Combination Locks In Seconds

A new device built by a renowned hacker is capable of cracking combination locks in just 30 seconds.

Those of you using combination locks might want to reconsider your security arrangements. The designs for the 3D-printed gadget have been released online and are available for free, which could make the traditional lock and key safer than your existing combination lock, writes Jack Millner for The Daily Mail.

3D-Printed Gadget Cracks Combination Locks In Seconds

3D-Printed Gadget: Flaw in lock allows combination to be cracked

The gadget fits into place around the lock and opens it by figuring out the code. Hacker Samy Kamkar realized that there was a flaw in the design of the Master Lock combination locks which makes it possible to crack the code.

Kamkar realized that he could work out the combination of the lock in only 8 attempts by measuring the interaction between the dial and the shackle. First off he was only using software, but it was a tricky process and he then decided to build a machine to do the job for him, known as the Combo Breaker.

The gadget is motorized, battery-powered and 3D-printed, and based on the Arduino micro-controller. Maker Samy Kamkar says that it “can crack any Master combination lock in under 30 seconds.” He also claims that it i possible to build one yourself for under $100.

There are two motors in the Combo Breaker, one which rotates the dial and another which attempts to open the lock, while the Arduino chip is responsible for running the code-breaking software.

Hacker has a long history of creating mischievous tech

The casing for the device was printed using a 3D printer, yet another use for the increasingly commonplace technology. Those worried for the security of combination locks should not be overly concerned seeing as the device only works on one brand of cheap lock.

Samy Kamkar has also been responsible for other nerdy yet mischievous devices in the past. In January this year he showed off a spy box USB charger, which is capable of recording every keystroke should you plug your keyboard into it.

The hacker was also responsible for the release of a harmless virus onto the social networking site MySpace when he was just 20 years old. He named it the Samy worm.

As 3D printing becomes ever more ubiquitous there are an increasing number of uses for the technology, but this particular 3D printed device seems unlikely to become mainstream any time soon.