Keys to the Kingdom

Keys to the Kingdom

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

1st Edition - September 24, 2012

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  • Author: Deviant Ollam
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123979308
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781597499835

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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

  • Dedication

    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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 256
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Syngress 2012
  • Published: September 24, 2012
  • Imprint: Syngress
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123979308
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781597499835

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

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