Keeping Doors Secure

While this lecture is mostly about the types of doors you’ll find in institutional settings, there’s some important and actionable security information for our homes and apartments. In the talk, security consultant Brian Rea a.k.a. “Deviant Ollam,” shows far simpler ways to enter buildings without out either picking the lock or busting the door down.

For those of us who own our own houses Rea shows some simple steps you can take to secure hinges and prevent easy access to the latch bolt. Should you, for instance, live in a house where some idiot installed a door with the hinges on the outside, Rea suggests an easy fix: $4 jamb pins. Jamb pins prevent someone from the easy task of popping off the hinge pin.

Those of you in apartment with one of those telephone access boxes at the entrance are in for a shock. It turns out that just two keys will open the vast majority of telephony access boxes (a business dominated by two companies, Linear and Doorking). Once the box is open all you have to do is short the relay and the door will buzz open.

Screen shot from Rea’s lecture.

This idiotic “one key to open them all” laziness allows Rea to put together a nefarious “everyday” key ring that opens everything from filing cabinets to Crown Victoria police cruisers! Rea’s key ring consists of:

  • FEOK1 elevator key.
  • CH751  a small key for things like filing cabinets and RV doors.
  • C415A filing cabinets.
  • CH751 filing cabinets.
  • 1284x Ford fleet vehicles.
  • Jigglers–these are a kind of simple lock picking tool that will open many locks. I’ve played around with them and can attest to their effectiveness.
  • A wire loop for shorting telephony boxes.
  • 16120 Doorking telephony boxes.
  • 2223443 Linear box key.
  • Cuff key for what will happen when you use the rest of the keys on this chain.

Beyond that key ring Rea goes on to show how some institutional doors can be opened with a puff of vape smoke!

I’ve added Amazon links should you wish to put your own chain together. This means that Root Simple will benefit from Amazon referral fees while you are out stalling elevators, opening filing cabinets, breaking into apartment building lobbies and stealing police cruisers. Not that any of you would do such things.

In all seriousness, it’s good to periodically review security in the places in which we live and work. It always seems that the black hat folks are one step ahead of the clueless white cap wearers and the lazy companies that supply us with locks that don’t really work.

Thanks to the bloggers and readers of BoingBoing for the tip on this lecture and for supporting Root Simple over the past 10 years.

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  1. Back in the late 90:s when I was a city bus driver they had no keys at all. You put it in fast idle, neutral and I think the brake had to be on. They’re probably tracked now but there was one that had been stolen and driven several hundred miles away.

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