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Keys to the Kingdom - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781597499835, 9780123979308

Keys to the Kingdom

1st Edition

Impressioning, Privilege Escalation, Bumping, and Other Key-Based Attacks Against Physical Locks

Author: Deviant Ollam
eBook ISBN: 9780123979308
Paperback ISBN: 9781597499835
Imprint: Syngress
Published Date: 24th September 2012
Page Count: 256
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Lockpicking has become a popular topic with many in the security community. While many have chosen to learn the fine art of opening locks without keys, few people explore the fascinating methods of attack that are possible WITH keys. Keys to the Kingdom addresses the topics of impressioning, master key escalation, skeleton keys, and bumping attacks that go well beyond any treatment of these topics in the author’s previous book, Practical Lock Picking.

This material is all new and focuses on locks currently in use as well as ones that have recently emerged on the market. Hackers and pen testers or persons tasked with defending their infrastructure and property from invasion will find these techniques uniquely valuable. As with Deviant Ollam’s previous book, Practical Lock Picking, Keys to the Kingdom includes full-color versions of all diagrams and photographs. Check out the companion website which includes instructional videos that provide readers with a full-on training seminar from the author.

Key Features

  • Excellent companion to Deviant Ollam’s Practical Lock Picking
  • Understand the typical failings of common security hardware in order to avoid these weaknesses
  • Learn advanced methods of physical attack in order to be more successful with penetration testing
  • Detailed full-color photos in the book make learning easy, and companion website is filled with invalualble training videos from Dev!


Information Security professionals of all levels, hackers, people whose jobs entail physical security (both defensive and offensive) and especially penetration testers. This book will also be popular with lock picking hobbyists, and those who purchased the author’s previous volume Practical Lock Picking

Table of Contents


Author’s Note

About the Author

About the Technical Editor

Chapter 1. Impressioning

The Mechanics of Pin Tumbler Locks

What is Impressioning?

Why Choose Impressioning?

How Impressioning Works

Tips and Tricks


Locks That Resist Impressioning

Training Aids and Exercises


Chapter 2. Soft Medium Attacks

Foil Keys

Wax Keys

Mold-and-Cast Attacks


Chapter 3. Master-Keyed Systems


How Master-Keying Works

Attacking Master-Keyed Systems

Other Methods of Master Key Compromise

Defending Against This Attack



Chapter 4. Bump Keys


Snapping Attacks

Bump Keys


Chapter 5. Overlifting


Rear Shimming

Overlifting Wafers

Overlifting Pins


Chapter 6. Skeleton Keys


Warded Locks

Simple Skeleton Keys

More Complicated Skeleton Keys

Warded Picks

Types of Warded Locks


Chapter 7. SmartKey Attacks


The Kwikset SmartKey System

Decoding SmartKey Locks


Chapter 8. Don’t Let Your Keys Talk to Strangers


Key Decoding

Key Photographing

Making Keys Resistant to Decoding

One More Trick Up Your Sleeve




No. of pages:
© Syngress 2012
24th September 2012
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Deviant Ollam

Deviant Ollam's first and strongest love has always been teaching. A graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Science, Technology, and Society program, he is always fascinated by the interplay that connects human values and social trends to developments in the technical world. While earning his BS degree at NJIT, Deviant also completed the History degree program federated between that institution and Rutgers University. While paying the bills as a security auditor and penetration testing consultant with The CORE Group, Deviant is also a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. division of TOOOL, The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers. Every year at DEFCON and ShmooCon, Deviant runs the Lockpick Village, and he has conducted physical security training sessions at Black Hat, DeepSec, ToorCon, HackCon, ShakaCon, HackInTheBox, CanSecWest, ekoparty, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. His favorite Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are, in no particular order, the 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 10th.

Affiliations and Expertise

Member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. division of TOOOL, The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers and Security Auditor and Penetration Testing Consultant with The CORE Group


"Ollam writes in a clear-cut and systematic manner, describing all of the details needed...For those who perform physical penetration testing, [this]…book will prove to be invaluable." and RSA Conference

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