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Lock bumping - is the threat of home invasion even greater now?

Apr 11, 2008
Lock bumping became big news at 2005's Defcon when 11-year-old Jennalynn showed an exceptional talent for being able to bump almost any lock set in front of her. This year she again shows her talent by bumping the Medeco M3 high security lock, a lock that is supposedly un-bumpable!

The very simple process of lock bumping (which is sometimes called bump keying) involves tapping a door lock while at the same time using a modified bump key. As the lock is tapped, the cylinder pins inside it bump or jump up and the key is eventually inserted and the lock breached. Most everyday locks and even newer high security locks can be opened in this way.

The bumping of locks was developed in the late 1970's by Danish locksmiths as a means to open locks quickly. The hatch was blown off this 'trick' in 2005 when a bump key advisory news report by NOVA aired in Europe.

The method of bumping a lock has spread all over the Internet and on many local news stations, showing everyone how easy it is to bypass certain types of locks. These videos and reports are causing great concern for everyone from stay-at-home moms to business owners. Homemade bump keys are a new threat to the security of conventional mechanical locks because they are so quick and easy to make.

There is an inherit design flaw with the pin tumbler locks being sold today. When you apply an upward force to the lower pins in a tumbler, some of that energy get transferred up to the top pins. That in turn pushes the spring up for a split second and creates a gap that the bump key exploits.

The other problem with lock bumping is that newer 'bump-proof' locks are being sold my companies such as Medeco and Schlage. Well, as the eleven year old Jennalynn proved, they too are vulnerable to being picked. That means that the uneducated consumer is buying peace of mind but in reality they are no better off with their new locks.

To protect yourself from becoming a victim of a lock bumped crime, shop around for bump proof locks. They may be good enough to deter the amateur thief. In addition, it would pay to do some research into alarm systems for your home. None of this will ever deter a truly determined thief but 9 times of out 10 they will make the amateurs run for cover.
About the Author
Home security begins with your doors and locks at home. If you seek to upgrade the safety and look of your home, consider installing weiser keyless locks. They are both stylish and secure.
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