Combination lock
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October 15, 2014 12:52 PM EDT

A pair of Australian-based security experts have developed a $150 safe-cracking device, making a technology normally reserved for defense department budgets accessible to anyone who can afford a smartphone.

The contraption, which was fashioned out of repurposed electronics and 3D-printed components, fastens onto a safe and spins the dial through a series of combinations, gradually cracking the code through trial and error, the Register reports.

Its inventors, Jay Davis and Luke Janke, say it typically takes four days to pop a standard 2-combination lock which is commonly used to secure ATMs, but they suspect that time could be shaved down to a matter of minutes by simply spinning a few of the default codes set by the lock’s manufacturer. Turns out a startling number of customers don’t bother to reset the code to something more personal and secure.

Another tweak would give the device some longer term memory to track untested combinations, “so if you get busted you can run away and come back and try later on,” Davis told the Register, “not that we condone that.”


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