Key Duplication

Here’s an interesting use of technology to copy someone’s keys (the metal kind that opens doors). It works with someone taking a hi res photo of your keys, then enhancing the image enough to make a template for someone to cut a copy of a the key.

What kind of photos will work?

Useful photos can be found on photo sharing web sites (such as Facebook or Flickr). This is a passive way for someone to find an image of your keys.

Another tactic is for someone to target you with a camera phone, taking photos of your keys while you hold them. Or with a camera and a telescopic lens, from 200 feet away as the article below suggests.

This isn’t really a new trick, but the software to do all the hard work is new. Technology like this only gets better so it’s time to learn how to protect yourself.

Some tips:

  • If you upload photos showing your keys then take the time to blur the keys first. This is similar to how you would blur your car number plate, or a credit card
  • Don’t display any keys in public. It wouldn’t be hard to obscure them with your hands
  • If you have a choice (such as when purchasing a car) opt for something that uses RFID chips embedded in the keys (many cars have this these days)

Read more about the technique here, and read the full paper here.

  1. Thank you for this very useful information. I will be more careful not to display my keys in public nor the cute key chain tag I have now.

  2. I predict a rise in “fake keys” people can wave around in order to fool the keynappers.

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