Aug.5, 2013

At the Def Con hacker conference last weekend some MIT students said they plan to release a piece of code that will allow anyone to create a 3D-printable software model of any Primus key. All you need to do is feed in the information contained in the key.

Three 3D-printed Schlage Primus keys. Credit: Forbes

Lock maker Schlage is famous for their high-security Primus locks, unfortunately, some hackers challenged them now by developing a program that is able to create Primus key models using 3D printing or laser cutting.

In the past if you wanted a Primus key, you had to go through Schlage. Now with just a flatbed scanner and this software tool, MIT students David Lawrence and Eric Van Albert were able to produce precise models of Primus keys.

According to Forbes,

Lawrence's and Van Albert's software tool, to be clear, doesn't let its users open any random door secured by one of those locks. It merely enables anyone to copy a key they couldn't easily copy before. But the two students in MIT's electrical engineering program point out that there are ways to copy a key without ever possessing it. Other researchers like those behind the Sneakey project have shown that keys can be effectively replicated from photos, even ones taken from hundreds of feet away.

And by studying Schlage's manuals and patents, Lawrence and Van Albert learned to decipher the two distinct codes in the keys–one set of six numbers cut into the top of the key and another set of five in its sidecut–that can be programmed into their modeling software and precisely reproduced.

"All you need is a friend that works there, or to take a picture of their key, or even a picture of the key hanging off their belt," says Lawrence.

Once the 3D model of a key is created, it can then be uploaded to a 3D-printing company such as Shapeways and i.Materialise. The MIT students used Shapeways to print working keys in nylon for less than $5 each, but it cost them $150 for a more durable titanium copy made from i.Materialise.

Schlage has not responded to this issue. Lawrence and Van Albert said not just Primus keys can be replicated and 3D printed - "You can do this for any high-security key" said Lawrence. "It didn't take that much work. In the future there will be models available online for almost any kind of key you're looking for."

Lawrence and Van Albert aren't the first to try 3D printing keys. Last year a German hacker and security consultant who goes by the name "Ray" demonstrated at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference that it was possible to open up high security handcuffs with plastic copies he cheaply produced with a laser-cutter and a 3D printer.

Once 3D printing gets good enough it will become possible for anyone to fabricate keys reliably. Lawrence and Van Albert suggested that high-security institutions should move to electronic locks that use unique cryptographic keys that are far harder to copy.


Source: Forbes


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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CornGolem wrote at 8/5/2013 12:49:53 PM:

I was thinking of doing this for my own keys cause some are expensive to duplicate.

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