Working in the bits and bytes software world of IT security, it’s often easy to forget that the world around us still very much relies on physical security. It’s a reminder I was served this past week when I spent far more time than I care to admit inside the Lockpick and Tamper Evident Villages at the DEF CON hacking conference.
The primary mechanism by which we secure our homes and our business, for hundreds of years now, has been the simple lock mechanism. In any given lock there are a set number of pins, and the key is the way to lift those pins and enable the lock cylinder to move and open the lock. Picking a lock is an art that is as ancient as locks themselves, but this year I learned something I was unaware of before. While struggling to pick a lock, I was asked if I had ever tried “bumping” a lock—which I had not.