Nowadays, more and more people are looking for bump proof locks. Back in 2006, a well respected security expert from the US, by the name of Marc Tobias, started talking in public about the relatively unknown practice of lock bumping. He also wrote two white papers highlighting the strategy and the possible legal issues. A lot of people scoffed at the idea that locks can be bumped open using a specifically-crafted key. But now, people are more convinced that it's happening.
What is lock bumping?
It’s a lock picking strategy that utilizes a bump key to bump the pins upwards so that they can be caught along the shear line on their way down.
How is it done?
First, you need to have a bump key. This is the most important part. Fortunately, it’s very easy to get one. There are now a lot of sites that sell them. If you know where to ask, you can also get them from some locksmiths. However, very few locksmiths will be willing to give you one because they’re afraid of the legal issues. This is because the mere fact of owning one is illegal in some areas. Of course, they’re also afraid that the bump key will be used for criminal acts and it can be traced to them.
This is why most people choose to make one instead. This is especially true nowadays when there are a lot of guides on how to make one. Once you’ve made or bought your bump key, here’s how you can use it to bump locks:
- Insert the bump key all the way inside the lock.
- Pull it back one notch. Don’t worry because you’ll feel when it’s already back one notch.
- Using your non-dominant hand, hold the handle of the key. Make sure that you’re holding it in such a way that you can comfortably turn the key to open the lock.
- Use the handle of any available tool that you have. It can be the handle of a screwdriver or a hammer. Just make sure that it’s not too hard because that might damage the lock.
- Give the key’s handle a firm tap, making sure that you don’t tap too hard.
- Wait a split second and turn the key towards the direction that will open the lock.
Obviously, you need a little bit of practice in order to develop the timing that you need to do it perfectly each and every time.
Why does it work?
You’re probably wondering why something as complicated as a locking mechanism can be defeated by something so amateurish. You’ll be surprised that it works based on a scientific principle. It uses Newton’s third law of motion that states, “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.”
It also works because it’s very simple. Most of the time, complications make it harder to achieve something. Complications also lead to mistakes. On the other hand, lock bumping is very simple that even a 12 year old boy can do it. In fact, even a 10 year old girl can do it. Wait for the 1:33 mark of this video:
What inspired lock manufacturers to do something about it?
Just in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, lock bumping works. If you’re not yet convinced, you have to know that even the lock manufacturers have been trying to overcome this latest security threat by coming up with anti bump locks. Sure, they have no concrete statistics that show them that lock bumping is rampant. However, that’s actually a bad sign for the industry. The police are unable to determine the exact statistic because they can’t pinpoint the locks that have been bumped because they can’t detect it consistently. However, you can be sure that a good part of the 32.4% of the “illegal entry” cases that were filed by the FBI since 2004 was done by bumping the locks.
Illegal entry is the term that they use when no force of entry was detected.
Lock manufacturers encountered a few failures when it comes to coming up with bump proof locks. Fortunately, they were able to come up with a few bump resistant locks that can now protect people from lock bumping.
Popular anti bump locks
There are now several locks that can help secure you against lock bumping. Here are the most popular brands that are proven to work:
BiLock is a patented system that utilizes a specially-made key shaped like the letter U. The locks have a lock cylinder inside of them packed with 13 pins. It’s so secure that it exceeded all the guidelines that were set in UL 437.
UL 437 is the barometer set by the Underwriters Laboratories for the key’s security. It’s basically a security rating.
BiLock systems are used extensively in government offices and businesses. If that’s not enough to convince you, BiLock has been protecting casinos for over 2 decades.
You should also check out the Protec line of the Abloy. It uses a patented disc cylinder that rotates to give you more than 2 billion possible combinations. This makes it virtually bump proof. According to the company, their Protec locks have never been picked and there have been no reports to prove otherwise. This is why it’s trusted by banks and other establishments that rely on security all over the world.
The Kwikset has the Smartkey line that has BumpGuard technology. Instead of pin tumblers, this system uses side locking bars.
In addition to these bump resistant locks, you can also use keyless locks. It makes sense. If there are no keys involved, they cannot be bumped. Here are some types of keyless locks that you can check out:
- Electronic locks
- Magnetic locks
However, you have to make sure that the keyless locks that you’re using don’t have a backup key locking system. Some of these keyless locks have this backup just in case something goes wrong. This is why a lot of people prefer the bump proof locks instead.