This week, no residence
is safe, because you are going to commit crime. This episode of Scam
School brought to you by Netflix and GoDaddy. Warning– the following episode
may contain eggs, gluten, soy and crime. Welcome to Scam School,
the only show dedicated to social engineering at
the bar and on the street. I’m your host Brian Brushwood, And this week, I mean it. We’re back to hardcore
crime, because you will go to jail if you have
used what you’re about to learn. Because we’re about
to find out how to use everyday objects
that you have in your house right now to pick locks. All right. Finally, we get to learn
from a true expert. Justin, how’re you doing? It’s good to see you. All right, so we
wanted to start off by talking about
what kinds of locks are easy to either pick or bump. There’s a bunch of different
ways to open locks, right? Yes. And what are the least safe
that people don’t realize aren’t very secure at all. Just about anything you can
buy in a hardware store, Home Depot, any kind of
department– anything under $75. {LAUGHS] Oh, really. Yeah. So pretty much
everybody watching, their lock on the
front door at home is easy to pick or bust into. Right. And you can have
an expensive lock, but it could have an
inexpensive cylinder in it. So don’t be fooled by– Explain to me that part. Talk to me about the cylinder. That’s the center
part of the lock? Yes, that’s where
you put the key. And that’s what he
operates the bolt, so you can lock and unlock it. But you can have different brand
cylinders with high-end locks. So you might have a
high-end, very fancy pants secure lock, but
the cylinder’s junk. Right. And then you could
just pop it right open. Yeah. Like for instance, Baldwin
is a very exclusive brand, very expensive. And you can have a very
inexpensive cylinder in there. So the lock may be secure. It might be a nice
lock, nice looking, but it’s still
very easy to open. Now, I’ve done a little
bit of poking around, and I learned one way to open
these locks, the one we’re going to talk about first. But before we do, can
you give me an overview? What are the different
ways that you could get past a lot like this. Well, there’s
traditional picking, like these kind of
pick pulls here, which I’m sure everybody’s
seen on James Bond. TV, this pick gun
is very popular. We can drill them. Just drill it straight through? Yeah, very easily. You can bump key it. OK. And that’s the one I learned
about was what the bump key. So explain to me the principle,
because I kind of understand and was able to
clumsily mess with it. But what is the principle
of how a bump key works? It’s actually very simple. You have these teams
keys, and the keys will have spacing and depths. This particular one
has six cuts on it. And there’ll be
zero to nine depths. So from the top to the bottom is
spaced out in 1,500 increment. And it’ll be zero to
nine. [? Skip to 10. ?] So what they do is they
cut all nines on there, which is the deepest. And these little
bumps, when you pull it out about 1/16
of an inch and you whack it with something,
applying slight turning pressure, the tumblers all
get hit at the same time and snap it. So this is the lock. Yeah, this is a
typical cylinder. This would be the housing,
which up in the top chamber, would be these strings. And drivers, which
we call top pins. And I guess all
of the brass part here would be up
in the cylinder. Be up inside this. All of this silver
part would be– what? Down in here? Inside the plug,
the cylinder plug. And so it’s only when
they’re lined up just like you see here, because
you can see on that key. So you put the key in,
and it pushes all these– It lines them up
perfectly even, which creates what we call the sheer
line and allows it to turn. And that’s how different
combinations work. So I guess when you put
in a normal key like this, everything gets lined up, and
then it holds in that place. And you could turn
it open like that. Right. But the difference
is with a bump key– A bump key, what you’re doing
is it’s putting all the tumblers on, which is dropping them
all below the sheer line. And when you snap them
all simultaneously it creates a gap. It snaps the bottom to the
top pin and the spring. And it will create a slight gap. Just for a split second. And it allows it to turn. It’s like playing pool. You can hit the ball. The ball stands still and
the other ball goes flying. It’s the same principle. So in this case, all of
these are getting hit and it’s transferred the
energy up and in the spring, so all of these go
up, just long enough, just for that
fraction of a second, because they’re spring loaded. And if you hit it just
right, it’ll create that gap. Dude, that’s unreal. That’s unreal. And so we actually
have a faux door here. I was going to give it a try,
and see if I could actually pull off the bump key. Sound good? You got it. Now, normally this is where
we continue our graduate level course in Scamology
through the use of Netflix by suggesting another
scam or con movie for you to check out at home. But this time I want
to turn the tables and ask you guys what are
the movies I’ve missed. What is the best con movie
that I have not yet brought up? Write me directly at
[email protected] and set me straight. But meanwhile we
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ScamSchool at the end, to make sure we get
credit for the sale. So this is what we put together. Actually my intern,
Chad, made this. This is the actual
lock from my house that we put on a dummy door. And then I went
online, and I Googled– all I did was Google “bump key,”
and I got for like $8 a set of house bump keys. And in fact, I went ahead
and got the expanded one. Now, this is what surprised me. The bump keys that
they sent, some of them were the type that would go in a
house lock, but others of them, you had some that I know– Mailbox. Like this one is a mailbox– Mailbox. –bump key. And this guy, what would
with one be used for? It looks like a
padlock, master padlock. So you can bump master
padlocks as well? Theoretically. OK, interesting. I’ll ask you more about that. Not all locks are going
to be as easy as others, but it’s possible with
a little bit of practice you might get them. OK. Interesting. And this one looks like
those ones that always say “do not duplicate,” for
commercialized institutions. Right. That looks like a
commercial removable core key, which, you know,
got to give it a shot. It’s possible. [LAUGHS] Well, speaking
of giving it a shot, this is what I have. This is the actual
key that goes in. And so we put i in. And I only practiced
a little bit. So I’m probably
going to screw this up, and look like
a big, dumb dummy. But I notice that there
is a couple of different– and I guess these
are all branded? Can you tell by the
shape of the key? How do you know
which key to put in. If it goes in the lock,
that should do it. OK, so I guess there’s
different grooves. And so like this one doesn’t
go in, but this one does go in. And the way I
learned was that you can put the key all the way in,
and you pull it one notch out. And then you just give
it the slightest bit of torque to the right. You don’t want to push it too
hard or it won’t go anywhere. But if you just barely
put it to the right and then give it a whack,
then it should work, right? Yeah, you’re pushing it back in. And that’s snapping all
the pins simultaneously with the little bumps left
over, and shooting them up. And that will create the bump. I guess this is not the
quietest way to open a lock. It only takes a [INAUDIBLE]. Here we go, just like that. And so this is a
case where for $8, I was able to get a
whole set of them. But then I found out
that you can actually make your own bump key. And we took a different
key, in this case, one for a completely different lock. But even though the keys,
the pins weren’t right, it would fit inside. And I guess all we
did was take a file and file down all the
grooves, all the spacing– All the spacing in the depths. And then we just sort of
added a ramp on each side. And I was shocked. I thought for sure,
some little jackass thing that we’d made at
home wouldn’t possibly work. And again, I got to give
credit to my intern, Chad, who did all this. It’s a really light touch. Yeah, it’s very light. If you give it too much
pressure, you bind the tumblers and it won’t snap up. So it’s almost like
a timing issue. You have to give it
really light or be able to find that sweet
spot where you turn it kind of simultaneously. How hard should
you need to hit it. You get a good even– Oh, there we go! Home version works,
just like that. Now the thing is that each
trial, I push all the way in and then I have to
take it out each time. But you were saying there’s a
way to get around that, right? Well, sometimes you could use
an O-ring and just rap on it. Now is this any kind of
special thing you need or just any kind of gasket,
any kind of rubber gasket? Any old ring that you
could stick on there. Anything that would create
about 1/16 of an inch spacing that will compress. And I guess the
idea being that when you have the O-ring in there,
it sort of automatically pushes the key back
out after each hit. Right. So in this case, you
put on the O-ring. Oh, that’s so much easier! Because when you have
the O-ring on there, you’re able to just keep
twisting to the right. You still have to twist
it kind of slightly, but you can just keep hitting
it over and over again, and it automatically works. That is scary-easy. The advantage is
you can manipulate the turning pressure easier. OK, because you’re not trying to
do a timing thing or anything. No, you’re not trying
to do timing anymore. You’re just working
on concentrating on how much pressure you give. Now turn it. So it really is all in
the very light touch. It’s all in the turning. Holy cow. That is unreal. So at this point,
everybody is thinking there’s no way anyone
can get in my house. I mean, everything
is– it’s over with. All locks are junk. But I wanted to find out. You said there are
bump-proof locks. Yes, there are several. Well, good. Well. Let’s find out about those. You know what’s great
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in free drinks. All right. Before we find out which
locks are bump-proof. I know everyone at
home wants to know– if they don’t want to spend the
$8, if they don’t want to order something online, how can
they actually just make their own key right at home? Well, depending on the brand
lock you want to bump open, you would first need a blank. Now, if you can’t get
a blank, most places won’t sell you a blank. Really? No. Like you people come to the shop
and they want to buy a blank, we don’t sell blanks. OK. Unless its a reputable force. Who knows what they’re
going to do with them? Right. There’s other things
other than bumping you could do with them that
you don’t want to sell blanks. Of course. So– You can always just
get a copy of your key. OK? Right, so assuming this is
your copy, what you want to do is take a file and
file them all down to the deepest part
which is usually the beginning of the milling. What kind of file do we want? You’d want to use a round file. And what’s really
important is when you’re creating a
bump key is that you try to keep them exactly
aligned, where they are. The positioning, the–
what we call the– spacing. If the spacing is off,
and one of these bumps is over to far and
one’s over one way. It’s not going to bump all
the tumblers at the same time. So your bump key is not
going to be as effective, or maybe not work at all. And then you want to keep
them all exactly the same as much as you can. So that’s the trick of– Now, how important is this
is the diagonal of the slope? If they look more like
little rounded teeth, is that not going
to work as well? As long as that they’re
all as symmetrical as you can get them, they’re
going to probably work. OK. But if it’s really sloppy,
and they’re all different. And one’s straighter,
one more rounded, it’s probably not going
to be as effective. So, like in this
case, this one worked, although it wasn’t quite
as nice as the machine one. But this one we just
did, like you said, we just try to make them as
evenly spaced as possible. We filed it all the way down
to the base of the groove. Which you experienced
with the other key. The other key, better better. Works a little better. Much better, yeah. Because that was
cut on a machine– Especially– Symmetrical. With the O-ring, yeah. Well, cool. So again, as long as it’s the
same manufacturer, I guess? Does it have to be
the same manufacturer or how do you tell– The key has to go in. As long as it fits in,
you’re totally god. As long as it fins in. And the industry standard
is a five pin key. So there’s five cuts. So a commercial– So five cuts down, one
two three four five. I have five positions. Now, commercial, you
could run into six. So if it’s a commercial,
a condos or something, it’s possible that
you could have six. But again, it’s
the same principle. Same principle. Got it. So you’re going to go
get a copy of your key, because it fits in another lock
that you want to practice on, if it’s a commercial lock,
you may never get it, because it might be a six. You don’t know. Just because it
fits, it doesn’t mean that it’s not six chambers. OK. Interesting. Interesting. So that’s one thing
to keep an eye on. All right, so take an old
key that fits in your lock, file it down just
like that, and– Keep it as close as you can. Measure it. Just start playing with it. OK, so now that
we’re all terrified that everyone can
break into our house at any time, what
do I want to get? If I want to make sure
that it’s not bumpable. Well, Schlage is a common brand. And they make high security
locks, one is Primus. They have another
version called Everest, which is also made by Schlage. And this is becoming the
new industry standard. In a few years or
so, you’ll probably start seeing this more available
at Home Depot and such. And what makes it
bump-proof, is they have an extra side
milling in the side. And there’s an extra
tumbler on the side. There’s an extra pin. This one’s bottom tumbler. There’s a bottom one that
rides on that groove. And that is what the bump
key will not work on. Very clever. So it’s a dual-locking
cylinder now. There’s two locking parts. With the Primus, it
has a whole bunch of– Holy crap. Yeah! So there’s multiples,
and there’s a sidebar that comes in
from the side that allows it to– when these all line
up– it allows the sidebar go into the side of the
plug and turn it. And then it also has
your traditional pins that are bumpable. The side ones are not. That’s brilliant. So there’s this. There’s Medeco is
a high security lock, which uses,
what we call, bi-axle. And if you look at these teeth,
you’ll see that they’re angled. Oh wow, they are! So this is similar
to this, but they’ve incorporated it into the teeth. So the tumblers fit these
notches, and they twist. And in the side of each
tumbler, there’s a cut out. And when all of them
are twisted right, at the right depth as well, it
allows the sidebar to come in. It’s almost the
difference between, like, this is a
two-dimensional kind of key, and that’s like got
three-dimensional aspects to it. Yeah, so it’s kind
of complicated. So if you want a
bump-proof lock, you’re going to spend how much? This locks usually
runs about maybe $150? As opposed to a $20
piece of junk like that. And now I mean, when you feel
this, and it’s all solid. You can feel the weight of this. Holy cow. I guess is this like the
gold standard right here? This would be more
of a commercial– you can get it without a key. So you’re not bumping anything. Oh yeah. I guess, you know,
maybe that’s the future. You’re not picking it. You’re not bumping it. You’re not doing anything. This is a commercial
lock you’ll see this lock in a lot of places. The back door, Safeway, any
kind of department store. Across the country, this is
a very common– it’s called Trilogy. Programmable, change the
combination, lock people out, time activated. Do a lot of neat stuff. Well, I know we’re
going to be learning more ways to pick locks. But thank you so much, Justin. That was fricking awesome. All right, Brian. Thank you. Guys. I can not be clear enough. Have a blast, practice
on your own doors, but don’t go breaking into
places you don’t belong. Because it is a crime,
and you will go to jail. Don’t blame us. We don’t need the lawsuits. By the way, if you have any
success stories or failure stories, you can post
them at the boards at,
where you can see all of our episodes right
back to Episode 1. If you’re doing
the Twitter thing, you can follow the show at or find out when I am in your hometown,
posting Scam School meet-ups, at If you have a suggestion for a
future episode of Scam School, write me at [email protected] And don’t forget, we’ll
be having future episodes where we’re going to be learning
other ways to pick locks. But until then,
join us next week when we get a mathematical
proof on exactly why Macs are better than PCs. Just kidding. Macs suck.