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New "Anti-Shim" Master Padlocks are still shimable (it's just hard)

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  • New "Anti-Shim" Master Padlocks are still shimable (it's just hard)


    So during our Black Hat training this summer, one of my students passed me a lock that he'd purchased at a local retailer not long before. It was a Master Lock combination dial piece (the ubiquitous "gym locker" type lock) which we would normally just shim open.

    This lock, however, featured a note on the package stating that it came with "anti-shim" features. I'd heard of this, and was curious to see how it functioned. We looked at the mechanism and were able to instantly tell two things...
    1. This lock did indeed have features designed to make it resistant to shimming attacks

    2. This lock could still be vulnerable to a skilled shimming attack

    We gave it a shot and got it open on the first attempt. Now, some of that i chalk up to luck... but it is possible. In the video that i just uploaded (see URL above) you can get a better look at the mechanism and see how Master Lock has modified the padlock's internals to resist typical shimming attacks.

    I say "typical" because the technique we normally suggest (insert down on the outside of the shackle, pinch, and rotate around to the inside) will not work against these locks. However, a slightly varied technique (shown in my poorly-shot video) will fare quite better.

    These locks don't have super-duper market penetration yet, but if you come across one and are interested i encourage you to pick it up and give it a shot. Heck, for $5 you're not really gambling much... and you might just impress yourself!

    So... what have we learned? These locks are still well-suited to keeping non-valuables "safe" if you are interested in storing a pair of stinky sneakers or drab workout clothes somewhere and you don't want young hooligans throwing them in the pool or some such. For anything of greater worth (wallet, phone, keys, gun, etc) i would go with something that is totally shim-proof (like a double-ball mechanism found in modern ASSA/Abloy products or even just "Pro Series" locks by companies like Master and Schlage.

    Of course, there's also the new "Speed Dial"* padlock which i have shown off in the Lockpick Villages here and there because i think it's pretty decent. As i and others have shown, this is a lock that is totally resistant to shimming, but still comes in a simple, affordable package and doesn't rely on a physical token to operate. Not bad for $9.99.

    If i ever were to go to a gym, maybe that's what i'd be using. Ah, who are we kidding... i don't think i'll be hitting the gym anytime soon.

    Stay safe out there.


    * ugh, sorry for that awful marketing drivel video... it was simply the best one i could find that showcases the way the lock works.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: New "Anti-Shim" Master Padlocks are still shimable (it's just hard)

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    Of course, there's also the new "Speed Dial"* padlock which i have shown off in the Lockpick Villages here and there because i think it's pretty decent. As i and others have shown, this is a lock that is totally resistant to shimming, but still comes in a simple, affordable package and doesn't rely on a physical token to operate. Not bad for $9.99.
    I picked up 2 of these just prior to con to use on my Pelican 1720 Case for transit. They are decent locks but I have 2 complaints about them.

    One is the fact that the dial seems to stick everyonce in a while. I'm going to attempt spraying some kind of lubricant under the dial to see if that doesnt' free it up.

    The second is that I see a ton of geeks/people using the up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right combo... Come on guys... guessing combos are like guessing passwords don't use something that common.

    All in all, with the exception of them being very easy to cut I like the lock.
    Originally posted by Ellen
    Do I wish we could all be like hexjunkie? Heck yes I do. :) That would rock.

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    • #3
      Re: New "Anti-Shim" Master Padlocks are still shimable (it's just hard)

      Thanks Deviant. I have been curious about these "anti-shim" locks since I've been trying to find the older models to do a demonstration on for the local physical security group.
      Coffee is a lost art, best not left to Starbucks.
      I brew the beer I drink.

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      • #4
        Re: New "Anti-Shim" Master Padlocks are still shimable (it's just hard)

        ehh ehh.. this has nothing to do with ANTI SHIM, yet, dont ya just love it in the movies when you see the guy pop those tumbler locks with just 1 tool?? its great!
        no tension wrench no snake pick, just a lil straight wire that miraculously open the lock.. open says me... Although its possible to open master lock 5 pin tumblers with a tiny screwdriver and bobby pin... snake picks are the greatest... and how do you know when your locks have been picked? look for tiny shards of shrapnel or grounded up pencil lead (used for easy opening on old rusty locks)
        its those magnetic locks that get ya...

        off topic my bad
        Your Life Is Your Crime, It's Punishment Time

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