A report on Forbes describes the feat of a “German hacker and security consultant who goes by the name ‘Ray'”
, who was able to reproduce master keys for a couple of models of handcuffs.
In fact, the keys were produced both on an inexpensive 3D printer as well as on a laser cutter, which, unlike a 3D printer, can reproduce hundreds at a time – if the key is a 2D model.
There’s been quite a bit of press about this, as it would appear that the viability of handcuffs is now in question. Or is it?
These master keys were produced by meticulously scanning and physically measuring actual keys to create a 3D model. These models were then simply 3D printed or laser cut. So we believe the issue is not so much in the production, but rather in the security of the original keys themselves.
In the “old” world, it was equally difficult to obtain an original key from which copies could be made. But today the real difference is that once an original is used to create a digital model, the Internet permits that model to be widely and rapidly distributed.
Perhaps the cuffmakers should rethink their locking mechanisms in light of the “new” world they find themselves in.
Meanwhile, we’re investing in Zip-tie futures.
(Hat tip to Marney)