LOCKPICKING 3 by Jolly Roger

If it becomes necessary to pick a lock to enter a lab, the world's most

effective lockpick is dynamite, followed by a sledgehammer. There are

unfortunately, problems with noise and excess structural damage with these

methods. The next best thing, however, is a set of professional lockpicks.


These, unfortunately, are difficult to acquire. If the door to a lab is locked,

but the deadbolt is not engaged, then there are other possibilities. The rule

here is: if one can see the latch, one can open the door. There are several

devices which facilitate freeing the latch from its hole in the wall. Dental

tools, stiff wire ( 20 gauge ), specially bent aluminum from cans, thin

pocket knives, and credit cards are the tools of the trade. The way that all

these tools and devices are uses is similar: pull, push, or otherwise move the

latch out of its recess in the wall, thus allowing the door to open. This is

done by sliding whatever tool that you are using behind the latch, and forcing

the latch back into the door.


Most modern doorknob locks have two fingers. The larger finger holds the door

closed while the second (smaller) finger only prevents the first finger from

being pressed in when it (the second finger) is pressed in by the catchplate

of the door. If you can separate the catch plate and the lock sufficiently

far, the second finger will slip out enough to permit the first finger to be



(Ill. 2.11) ___

| } <

Small -> (| } <--- The large (first) finger

second |___} <



Some methods for getting through locked doors are:


1) Another method of forced entry is to use an automobile jack to force the

frame around the door out of shape, freeing the latch or exposing it to

the above methods. This is possible because most door frames are designed

with a slight amount of "give". Simply put the jack into position

horizontally across the frame in the vicinity of the latch, and jack it

out. If the frame is wood it may be possible to remove the jack after

shutting the door, which will relock the door and leave few signs of

forced entry. This technique will not work in concrete block buildings,

and it's difficult to justify an auto jack to the security guards.

2) use a screwdriver or two to pry the lock and door apart. While holding

them apart, try to slip the lock. Screwdrivers, while not entirely

innocent, are much more subtle than auto jacks, and much faster if they

work. If you're into unsubtle, I suppose a crowbar would work too, but

then why bother to slip the lock at all?

3) Find a set of double doors. They are particularly easy to pry apart far

enough to slip.

4) If the lock is occasionally accessible to you while open, "adjust" or

replace the catchplate to make it operate more suitably (i.e., work so

that it lets *both* fingers out, so that it can always be slipped). If

you want, disassembling the lock and removing some of the pins can make

it much easier to pick.

5) If, for some odd reason, the hinges are on your side (i.e., the door

opens outward), remove the hinge pins (provided they aren't stopped with

welded tabs). Unfortunately, this too lacks subtlety, in spite of its


6) If the door cannot be slipped and you will want to get through regularly,

break the mechanism. Use of sufficient force to make the first finger

retreat while the second finger is retreated will break some locks (e.g.,

Best locks) in such a way that they may thereafter be slipped trivially,

yet otherwise work in all normal ways. Use of a hammer and/or

screwdriver is recommended. Some care should be used not to damage the

door jamb when attempting this on closed and locked doors, so as not to

attract the attention of the users/owners/locksmith/police/....

7) Look around in desks. People very often leave keys to sensitive things

in them or other obvious places. Especially keys to shared critical

resources, like supply rooms, that are typically key-limited but that

everyone needs access to. Take measurements with a micrometer, or make a

tracing (lay key under paper and scribble on top), or be dull and make a

wax impression. Get blanks for the key type (can be very difficult for

better locks; I won't go into methods, other than to say that if you can

get other keys made from the same blank, you can often work wonders with

a little ingenuity) and use a file to reproduce the key. Using a

micrometer works best: keys made from mic measurements are more likely

to work consistently than keys made by any other method. If you us

tracings, it is likely to take many tries before you obtain a key that

works reliably. Also, if you can 'borrow' the cylinder and disassemble

it, pin levels can be obtained and keys constructed.

8) Simple locks, like desks, can be picked fairly easily. Many desks have

simple three or four pin locks of only a few levels, and can be

consistently picked by a patient person in a few minutes. A small

screwdriver and a paper clip will work wonders in practiced hands. Apply

a slight torque to the lock in the direction of opening with the

screwdriver. Then 'rake' the pins with the unfolded paper clip. With

practice, you'll apply enough pressure with the screwdriver that the pins

will align properly (they'll catch on the cylinder somewhere between the

top and bottom of their normal travel), and once they're all lined up,

additional pressure on the screwdriver will then open the lock. This, in

conjunction with (7) can be very effective. This works better with older

or sloppily machined locks that have a fair amount of play in the

cylinder. Even older quality locks can be picked in this manner, if

their cylinders have been worn enough to give enough play to allow pins

to catch reliably. Even with a well worn quality lock, though, it

generally takes a *lot* of patience.

9) Custodial services often open up everything in sight and then take

breaks. Make the most of your opportunities.

10) No matter what you're doing, look like you belong there. Nothing makes

anyone more suspicious than someone skulking about, obviously trying to

look inconspicuous. If there are several of you, have some innocuous and

normal seeming warning method ("Hey, dummy! What time is it?") so that

they can get anything suspicious put away. Don't travel in large groups

at 3 AM. Remember, more than one car thief has managed to enlist a cop's

aid in breaking into a car. Remember this. Security people usually

*like* to help people. Don't make them suspicious or annoy them. If you

do run into security people, try to make sure that there won't be any

theft or break-ins reported there the next day...

11) Consider the possibilities of master keys. Often, every lock in a

building or department will have a common master (building entrance keys

are a common exception). Take apart some locks from different places

that should have common masters, measure the different pin lengths in

each, and find lengths in common. Experiment. Then get into those

places you're *really* curious about.

12) Control keys are fun, too. These keys allow the user to remove the

lock's core, and are generally masters. (A pair of needle nose pliers or

similar tool can then be used to open the lock, if desired.)





The best material we've found for slips so far is soft sheet copper. It

is quite flexible, so it can be worked into jambs easily, and can be pre-bent

as needed. In the plane of the sheet, however, it is fairly strong, and pulls

nicely. Of course, if they're flexible enough, credit cards, student IDs,

etc., work just fine on locks that have been made slippable if the door jamb

is wide enough. Wonderfully subtle, quick, and delightfully effective. Don't

leave home without one.


(Ill. #1)


The sheet should then be folded to produce an L,J,or U shaped device that

looks like this:



| |

| | L-shaped

| |

| |



(Ill. #2)


/ ___________________________|

| |

| | J-shaped

| |

| |________



(Ill. #3)


/ ___________________|

| |

| |

| | U-shaped

| |

| |____________________




We hasten to add here that many or most colleges and universities

have very strict policies about unauthorized possession of keys. At

most, it is at least grounds for expulsion, even without filing criminal

charges. Don't get caught with keys!!! The homemade ones are

particularly obvious, as they don't have the usual stamps and marks

that the locksmiths put on to name and number the keys.]


we should also point out that if you make a nuisance of yourself, there are

various nasty things that can be done to catch you and/or slow you down. For

instance, by putting special pin mechanisms in, locks can be made to trap any

key used to open them. If you lose one this way, what can I say? At least

don't leave fingerprints on it. Or make sure they're someone else's. Too

much mischief can also tempt the powers that be to rekey.




-= Exodus =-