By Marc Weber Tobias; Reviewed by Ted P. Barron
The safest locks in the world are less secure than the manufacturers admit.
***** Open In Thirty Seconds: Cracking One of the Most Secure Locks in America. By Marc Weber Tobias and Tobias Bluzmanis; published by Investigative Law Offices, www.security.org (Web); 300 pages; $75.
Open In Thirty Seconds is a book about cracking locks that have been used to protect some of the highest-risk assets in the world, specifically the Medeco Biaxial and m3. The authors shatter misconceptions about just how secure these and similar locks are.
Despite the complexity of the subject matter, the book is structured for the lay reader. At the same time, the work is technical in nature, with portions directed toward the professional locksmith or trained engineer who would look for evidentiary details and proof to support the authors’ statements. That support is provided in abundance.
The authors’ discussion of current lock standards and what is needed to correct them is highly compelling, and the authors’ observations and suggestions apply equally to other areas of physical security. It is an unfortunate state of affairs when leading security professionals consider our industry standards to be of little use or guidance. This book will hopefully provide an impetus for changing the status quo.
The response to this book has run the gamut from complete denial that vulnerabilities exist to surprise and concern from others who applied these locks in good faith. The authors’ objective is clear: to inform security managers of vulnerabilities in high-security locks, and not just those made by Medeco, which is the dominant supplier of high security locks in North America. Four major manufacturers’ locks are discussed, including models certified by Underwriters Laboratories and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association.
This book is a must-read for security officers and risk managers who want to understand how locks can be defeated through covert and forced entry techniques and through the compromise of key control. I highly recommend both the book and the further study of the companion reference LSS+ for those who wish to deepen their understanding of locks, lock history, their applications, proper key systems, bypass techniques, and the risks inherent in any lock.
Reviewer: Ted P. Barron, CPP, is vice president of corporate security for Wells Fargo & Co. in San Francisco. He is a member of ASIS.