Many standard five and six pin tumbler locks can be opened rapidly through a technique known as bumping.
Even some high security locks can also be opened with this technique.
Every commercial location and every consumer can potentially be the victim of a technique of picking locks known as bumping. If they use conventional pin tumbler cylinders where they live, work, or transact business, then they may be at risk.
If an individual has a key that fits the keyway of the target lock, then bumping, (rather than picking, use of a pick gun or electropick) may provide the fastest method of entry and requires virtually no skill.
If poor quality hardware is in place, then in all likelihood, it can be compromised within a few seconds. The task can be more difficult as higher quality locks are employed. The term “quality” has many aspects and is based upon design, research and development, tolerance specifications and experience in the industry by the manufacturer.
Detailed info and diagrams demonstrate how the bump key operates in a pin tumbler lock in this book.
Study of Lock Bumping Methods and Threats, addresses the relevant technical issues with regard to the vulnerability of mechanical locks to bumping and the security threat that results.
Conventional five and six pin tumbler cylinders as well as dimple and sidebar locks. Bumping is not an issue with warded, lever, wafer or disc locks because their design does not rely upon a shear line.
A “999” or bump key can be any key that fits a particular pin tumbler lock and that has been modified so that all of its cuts are to the deepest allowable position, as defined by each manufacturer.
High security locks are significantly more expensive than consumer grade cylinders, but they can offer increased protection against most forms of bypass including bumping.
Sir Isaac Newton formulated his Third Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When the first steel ball is struck on the left of the array, the energy is transmitted to the last ball on the right. This is precisely the theory upon which bumping is based.
The left-most ball represents the bottom tumbler that makes contact with the bump key. The right-most ball represents the top pin within the lock. Little did Newton know when he formulated his physical law that he would be the father of bumping some three hundred years later!
In a Mul-T-Lock, the pin floats and is acted upon by internal components. Note that there are two elements because the key is reversible.
If we note the consistency in geometry of each cut in a machine-cut bump key, one can find that this key is far easier to produce than one that is made by hand and has a greater likelihood of opening the target lock.
Certain variables in manufacturer design and operating condition of a lock can affect the ability to open that cylinder by bumping and may determine whether amateur skills or greater expertise is required. These variables are referred to in defining the security threat level that results from bumping and are clearly defined in this book.
Medeco, Assa, Schlage Primus and many other manufacturers all utilize sidebars to increase the security of the lock and prevent or seriously reduce the risk of bypass. Although certain models of Assa and Medeco have been bumped open, this was done so only after the bump key was cut with the proper sidebar code, without this critical information the locks could not be opened.
The Study of Lock Bumping Methods and Threats covers following topics:
- Common Questions Asked About Bump Keys
- What exactly is a bump key?
- Why is it called a “999” or bump key?
- Why is it a threat to the security of locks?
- How difficult is it to make a bump key?
- Can a lock be opened covertly by bumping?
- What is the likelihood that someone has a key that will enter my lock?
- Do we have high security locks or consumer grade cylinders, and what is the difference?
- What is the security of the locks in my facility against bumping?
- Our facility utilizes restricted or patented keys. Will these offer a deterrent against bumping?
- Is bumping easier to learn than picking or other forms of bypass, and thus does it create more of a threat to security?
- What is the practicality of bumping as a method of entry?
- If my lock is opened by bumping and I suffer a loss, will it be covered by insurance?
- The Bump Key: An Introduction
- Bumping: A technical description
- Secondary locking mechanisms
- Difficulties in Bumping
- Variables that can affect the ability to open a lock by bumping
- Bumping: The Highest Threat Level
- Skill Set
- Prior Intelligence
- The Key
- The Lock
- Bumping Technique, Torque, and Tools
- Evidence or Indication of Entry
- Reduction of the threat level
- Order Of Difficulty To Bump Open The Lock
- 1.THE KEY
- Hand-cut keys
- Machine-cut keys
- Availability of a Key
- Sources of keys that fit the target lock
- 2.THE LOCK
- 3.CUTTING THE 999 KEY
- 4.BUMPING TOOL
- 1.THE KEY
- Specific Security Solutions
- Schlage Primus
- Other Designs