Criminals Going High-Tech with 3D Printing Technologies

3D printing technology is used to create everything from brightly colored plastic dodads to advanced medical devices. The technology is amazing, affordable, and accessible. Perhaps that is why it is not surprising that criminals have found a way to use the technology to their advantage.
A plastic representation of just about anything can be printed in minutes using a 3D Printer, including exact plastic copies of our keys. It sounds like something right out of the movies, but criminals are just using very accessible technologies to make what they have done for years that much easier—using bump keys to gain entrance to a property.

What is a Bump Key?

Bump keys are lock picking tools that act like a skeleton key. They do not have to be exact, but simply close enough to bump the pins within the lock causing it to unlock. If the lock is common, it is almost like not having any lock at all because a skilled criminal can use very near duplications over and over.

Printing Keys

Most common, everyday locks are vulnerable to being bumped even without the use of 3D technologies. Knowing this, manufactures started making “bump resistant” locks that make it very difficult to gain access without the key created to open it.
While bump resistant locks are still very helpful and now more necessary than ever, new technologies make getting by them more possible. After taking a picture of the lock and inserting a tool to measure depth, a criminal can convert the data for use with a 3D printer and create a duplicate key without ever having had access to the original key.
A criminal does not even need to own a 3D printing machine! There are no restrictions for 3D printing companies to print keys, and though many do not, finding those that do is not difficult.

Home and Business Security Systems Still First in Fighting Crime

We may not be able to prevent criminals from finding new ways to commit crimes, but we can do what we know works. All criminals, no matter what technologies they are using, are deterred by security systems. Even the most motivated criminal does not want to get caught so layers of security that include things like CCTV and motion sensors remain the most effective tool against crime.

Guardian Security has been serving the Puget Sound area for over 35 years providing home and business security expertise. From the largest commercial operation to small home structures, we provide the same level of commitment. Call today (800) 282-6998.

Matt Smith
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