Sunday, August 4, 2013

[book review] Practical Lock Picking, 2nd Edition

This is a book review for Practical Lock Picking, 2nd Edition.

This post has nothing to do with Python or Network Engineering, please skip this blog post if that is what you are looking for. 

For those of us in computers, sometimes it is fun to step outside of our high tech bubble and look at some physical interaction of devices; in this case, physical penetration of the locks. When I was little and growing up in another country, MacGyver was a mega hit series. He has always been able to save the world with a piece of gum and swiss army knife, and of course, pick every single lock with ease in under 5 seconds. When I was reading this book, it kind of reminded me of how disconnect TV fiction was with reality. It is possible, but I doubt it can be done in a few seconds. 

This book is a fun book to read. It begins with the concepts behind the two most common lock types found in N. America and around the world, the Pin lock and the wafer lock: 

There are lots of illustration and pictures that helps you understand the concept. To me, the concept is actually surprisingly straight forward, the strength is all in the mechanics of manufacture in making the lock. As the author explained, mechanical weakness leads to security weakness. I don't know about you, but some of the older colo facilities and peering exchanges the racks were protected by simple locks, so in theory once can pick this locks and power down the devices inside. Physical protection sometimes is overlooked. 

After the first two chapters, the next four were all about the right approach, training, tools, and techniques. If you really want to be a lock smith, I'd imagine the right training approach and tips can save you a ton of time. For me, I am reading the book mainly to understand the concepts, so I was not too engaged, but none the less good to know. 

Because I did not try out the techniques and the exercises mentioned in the book, I am going to give it a four star. But I got what I received what I wanted out of the book and it was an enjoyable read. 

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