The Bump Key: Is real threat to the security of mechanical locks
The most popular locking mechanism in the world utilizes the pin tumbler design. There are millions of these locks in the world and they come in all sizes, configurations, and security ratings. Some are secure; most are not, and even some high security rated cylinders can be easily compromised. All that is required to open of pin tumbler cylinders, the kind of lock that probably keeps the bad guys out of your home or business, is a bump key.The bump key opens an extremely popular five pin locks like Schlage or Kwikset inseconds and anyone, and I do mean anyone, can get into your home or business in a matter of seconds.
In the modern lock, each chamber contains a spring, top pin and bottom pin. In the standard cylinder, a rotating portion, called the plug, is the part that is controlled by the key and moves the bolt when it is turned. The plug is normally prevented from moving because there are normally five or more pins in a way.
In order for this lock to be opened, all of the bottom pins must be raised to the shear line, so that it can rotate freely. If any pin is even a little of above or below the shear line, then the plug is stopped from turning. When the wrong key is inserted, tumblers are either above or below shear line, depending upon the key. Either way, the plug is prevented from rotating because the pin forms an obstruction. The lock can be opened only when there is no obstruction crossing the shear line.
Theory of bumping:
As shown in the picture, a bump key is inserted fully into the lock. The key is free to move forward when struck with a mallet, or almost any other item. All of the pins are violently forced to jump when contacting with the key. This causes the top pins to move up and creates a gap between top and bottom pins in each chamber. If the timing is correct, the plug is free to turn and the lock is open. It is just that simple!
Bumping poses a serious security threat because the training to bump open a lock is minimal. The time to open a cylinder can be from two seconds to couple minutes and any body can do it!
Another issue we learned from one of our customers there are insurance issues when there is no sign of forced entry. You should definitely check your policy to determine what is covered and what is required to prove a loss, because bumping often leaves no trace of illegal entry.
High Security Locks that are Resistant to Bumping:
Most high security locks employ secondary locking systems to add another layer of security. Sidebars are the most common design. Without going into a great amount of detail, a sidebar prevents the plug from rotating unless another separate locking system is actuated by the correct key. There is multiple brands for verity of prices that we carry at Mobile lockmith so most of home or business owners can afford them.
You have to remember that baying locks at Walmart or hardware store and expect them to be the only security for your residence you get what you pay so you need to learn which ones are vulnerable.
And here the question u probably asking:
Is this just a scare tactic on their part to generate sales?
My answer: the more knowledgeable the consumer, the more secure they will be. Not everyone can afford high security locks, nor do they need them. But they do need to know the threat so they can decide whether to assume the risk.
Although locks are a primary defense, you need security in depth. This means layers, like locks, alarms, cameras, guards, fences and other measures. It depends on what is to be protected and what is at risk. [codepeople-post-map]