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Martin Novikov
Martin Novikov

How To: Pick A Kensington Laptop Lock With A Piece Of PAPER (VIDEO)


In terms of physical security, Kensington laptop locks are often said to be reliable. But a creative hacker shows, in a two-minute video, how to make a small cylinder out of a toilet paper roll and crack the lock in seconds. Next time you think that such locks are secure, remember this video. You may want to think of better security for Macs that you use in public settings, such as labs, libraries or cafés.




How To: Pick A Kensington Laptop Lock With A Piece of PAPER (VIDEO)



The two most commonly-used locking options are our traditional keyed locks and combination locks, which are compatible with more than 90% of laptops, desktops, projectors, monitors, and printers from all major manufacturers


The new N-17 Keyed & Combination Locks fit seamlessly into the latest Dell laptops and tablets with a wedge lock slot to create the strongest connection between the lock head and slot.


Tobias' bottom line: While laptop locks costing less than $50 aren't intended to be burglar-proof, the ease with which leading models can be defeated seemingly contradicts makers' claims that the locks offer a reasonable deterrent.


Tobias' revelations, documented on his Web site www.security.org, come as Targus and other firms are marketing laptop locks to college students returning to campuses with their trusty portables in tow.


But the Defcon CL is simple to crack using a thin piece of paper or plastic to probe the device's four thumbwheels and glean its combination. After seeing Tobias demonstrate this with his Defcon, a reporter cracked a separately purchased Defcon in minutes.


A Kensington key-based lock also has proven simple to compromise using a Paper Mate ballpoint-pen tube or rolled-up toilet-paper cardboard that simulate the small keys' rounded shape. A reporter was able to free a laptop from its restraint in seconds.


Tobias, author of "Locks, Safes and Security: An International Police Reference," is a lock-picking authority. But he credits Matt Fiddler, a Connecticut security consultant, with discovering the Kensington key-lock vulnerability and bringing it to his attention at a security conference earlier this summer.


Such locks can be picked by a special tubular lock pick with a minimum of effort in very little time; it is also possible to defeat them by drilling with a hole-saw drill bit. Standard tubular-lock drill bit diameters are 0.375 in (9.5 mm) and 0.394 in (10.0 mm). To prevent drilling, many tubular locks have a middle pin made from hardened steel or contain a ball bearing in the middle pin.


While the process is simple and can be mastered with practice, lockpicking requires a great deal of patience. It can be a hobby as well as a practical skill. Locksmiths define lock-picking as the manipulation of a lock's components to open a lock without a key. To understand lock picking you first have to know how locks and keys work. Most locks are based on fairly similar concepts but they do come in all shapes and sizes, with many design variations. This is for educational purposes only.


Lock picking is the art of unlocking a lock by analyzing and manipulating the components of the lock device without the original key. In addition, ideal lock picking should not damage the lock itself, allowing it to be re-keyed for later use, which is especially important with antique locks that would be impossible to replace if destructive entry methods were used. Although lock picking can be associated with criminal intent, it is an essential skill for a locksmith, and is often pursued by law abiding citizens as a useful skill to learn or simply a hobby.


- The tubular lock pick has a handle attached to a piece of circular metal that will fit the key-way. On the circular metal, there are a number of needles also known as pick wires that can be protruded or retracted.


- You will need to get a pick with the correct amount of needles for your lock (most often 7 or 8). Those wires will be controlled from the L-shaped bends. The needles can be secured in place; there should be a threaded bolt that can be tightened or loosened. There is also a metal ring that is meant to realign all of the needles to the same height.


And an external microphone is another essential tool for video meetings. Relying on a laptop microphone to pick up sound is usually insufficient, especially with multiple in-room participants sitting further away from the laptop. With an external microphone, you'll be able to minimize voice echoing and keep your focus on your meeting at hand.


A paper clip would make a terrible lock. Made of a thin material, paper clips can be easily bent out of shape and rejiggered any which way but Tuesday. And most people could bend it with their bare hands, no special lockpicking tools needed.


The design is a built around a standard padlock-style design, but wraps an additional metal chamber around the outside of it, so the lock itself can only be accessed with an extra-long key. He notes that any padlock can be pressed to its limits, but at least his should prove a serious challenge to anyone hoping to break into it using traditional lock-picking methods.


The design is built around a standard padlock-style design, but wraps an additional metal chamber around the outside of it, so the lock itself can only be accessed with an extra-long key. He notes that any padlock can be pressed to its limits, but at least his design should prove a serious challenge to anyone hoping to break into it using traditional lock-picking methods.


Lockpicking is a skill that takes years upon years to master. Locks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but have common ground in how they work. Most cylinder locks have "tumblers," which are metallic cylindrical objects that sit vertically to the actual locking mechanism. Tumblers have five or six holes with rounded key pins of various height in them, each needing to meet an exact height or the cylinder in the center (the lock itself) will not be allowed to turn. This is the reason why you see those "mountains and valleys" on keys, and why these types of locks are called pin tumbler locks. Each is unique.


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