Summer DIY: Combination Lock Cracker

Former virus writer open-sources his DIY combination lock-picking robot by Paul Ducklin.

Amusing account of Samy Kamkar and his hacking history up to and including:

…an open-source 3D-printed robot that can crack a combination lock in just 30 seconds by twiddling the dial all by itself.

Paul includes some insights into opening combination locks.

Good opportunity to learn about 3D printing and fundamentals of combination locks.

Advanced: Safe Cracker

If that seems too simple, try safe locks with the 3D-printed robot (adjust for the size/torque required to turn the dial). The robot will turn the dial more consistently than any human hand. Use very sensitive vibration detectors to pick up the mechanical movement of the lock, capture that vibration as a digital file, from knowledge of the lock, you know the turns, directions, etc.

Then use deep learning over several passes on the lock to discover the opening sequence. Need a stand for the robot to isolate its vibrations from the safe housing and for it to reach the combination dial.

Or you can call a locksmith and pay big bugs to open a safe.

The DIY way has you learning some mechanics, a little physics and deep learning.


If you are up for a real challenge, consider the X-09™ Locks (NSN #5340-01-498-2758), which is certified to meet FF-L-2740A, the “the US Government’s highest security standard for container locks and doors.”

The factory default combination is 50-25-50, so try that first. 😉

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