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Defcon: Hardware Security Starts with Lockpicking Village

defcon lockpickFrom the 'Good Locks Make for Good Security?' files:

LAS VEGAS. I write a lot about software security. Which is why it's always a great reminder for me to visit Lockpicking Village at Defcon.

At the Lockpick Village this year there were 6 or so main tables where attendees tried out different locks and tried to pick them. There was also a presentation area, where I have to admit I spent a tonne of time, learning about how locks really work and how to defeat them. Then there was also the vendor, selling the tools of the trades (pic left is a pic of the lockpicks for sale).

All this at the world's largest hacker convention - and the reason why is simple. Hardware hacking is just as important in many cases, as the software side. Physical security, the simple lock and key that have protected civilized persons for hundreds of years are still quite literally the lynchpin of the security industry.

Am I advocating that everyone should learn how to lockpick?

Not necessarily,  though I gotta say, it really is kinda fun and a whole lot different than combing through wireshark logs looking for the magic packet to pwn a target for a Defcon contest. It is important to remember though that 'hacking' didn't begin with the computer age and the art of lockpicking is something that will likely continue to find a home at hacker conferences like Defcon for years to come.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.