In news that sounds like it was taken straight out of a James Bond flick, Luke Janke and Jay Davis, a pair of Australian security professionals, have built an automated safe cracker that can be used for brute force attacks against combination-centric safes.
Plus, they did it using only $150 worth of materials.
Spotted earlier this week at the Ruxcon security conference in Melbourne, the device (which doesn’t have a name just yet) is comprised mainly of 3D printed parts, a few step motors salvaged from an old stage lighting array, and an Arduino microcontroller.
Once connected to a safe, the cracker uses custom software to run through all possible combinations of the lock. In a sense, it’s basically the physical equivalent of a brute-force password cracking program used by hackers. The only difference is that this one is designed to crack safes instead of computers.
Using this “autodial” method, the device can reportedly crack a combination lock in less than four days. That’s definitely too long to make it a viable option for an Italian Job-style heist, but just like computer-based password crackers, the device’s software can be tweaked to make it more efficient in certain situations.
There are certain types of locks that come pre-loaded with a number of default combinations. For these locks, the cracker can use a more targeted approach. In many instances, it finishes the job in just a few minutes.
To see videos of the device in action, head over to The Register.