Key Bumping

This has become a great concern for our business as well as our customers. To further inform you of the truth behind this matter, I have gathered information over the internet to help everyone understand the truth and effects of this sytem

The following information was used from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

You can do further serches by searching KEY BUMPING.


Here Master Lock Company has made a lock that is bump proof. It shows how the bumping technique works.


Lock bumping

A typical bump key

Lock bumping is a technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially-crafted bump key.

One bump key will work for all locks of the same brand type.



In the 1970s, locksmiths in Denmark shared a technique for knocking on a lock cylinder while applying slight pressure to the back of the lock plug. When the pins would jump inside of the cylinder, the plug would be able to slide out freely and disassemble the lock quickly. The use of a bump key was not introduced until some time later and was first recognized as a potential security issue around 2002-2003 by Klaus Noch who brought it to the attention of the German media. After further examination of the procedure, a white paper was drafted in 2005 by Barry Wels & Rop Gonggrijp of The Open Organization Of Lockpickers (TOOOL) the method and its applicability . A patent exists for a lock device following the same principle as the bump key from 1926-1928.

The technique then attracted more popular attention in 2005 when a Dutch television show, Nova, broadcast a story about the method. After the method received further publicity from TOOOL presentations at security conference talks, members of TOOOL and a Dutch consumer group, Dutch Consumentenbond, analyzed the capability of the method on 70 different lock models and with trained and untrained users in a 2006 study. At the same time, Marc Weber Tobias, an American security expert, began to talk publicly in the United States about the technique and its potential security threats. In 2006, he released two further white papers regarding the technique and its potential legal ramifications.



A lock is composed of a series of spring-loaded stacks called pin stacks. Each pin stack is composed of two pins that are stacked on top of each other: the key pin, which touches the key when it is inserted, and the driver pin, which is spring driven. When the proper key is inserted into the lock, all of the key pins and driver pins align, allowing the cylinder to be turned. When no key or the wrong key is in the lock, the pin misalignment prevents the cylinder from being turned.
When lock bumping, the key is initially placed one notch out along the keyway. Bumping the key inward forces it deeper into the keyway. The specially designed teeth of the bump key jiggle all of the pins in the lock. The key pins transmit this force to the driver pins. Because the pin movements are highly elastic, the driver pins separate from the key pins for a split second and are then pushed back by the spring. Even though this separation only lasts a split second, if a light force is applied to the key, the cylinder can be turned and the lock can be opened.


Counter measures


Lock designs

Ironically, higher-quality locks may be more vulnerable to bumping unless they have specific countermeasures. More precise manufacturing tolerances within the cylinder make bumping easier as the pins move more freely and smoothly. Also, more expensive locks made of hardened steel are more vulnerable because they are less prone to damage during the bumping process which might cause a cheaper lock to jam.

Locks having security pins (spool or mushroom pins, etc.)—even when combined with a regular tumbler mechanism—generally make bumping somewhat more difficult, but not impossible. Electronic locks, magnetic locks, and locks using rotating disks are not vulnerable to this attack. Because a bump key must have the same blank profile as the lock it is made to open, restricted or registered key profiles are much safer from bumping, as the correct key blanks cannot legally be obtained without permission and/or registration with relevant locksmiths' associations.

Locks that have trap pins which engage when a pin does not support it will jam a lock's cylinder. Another countermeasure is shallow drilling, in which one or more of the pin stacks is drilled slightly less deep than the others. If an attempt were made on a lock that has shallow drilled pin stacks the bump key will be unable to bump the shallow drilled pins as they are too high for the bump key to engage.


Lock brands

Locks made by Kaba, Medeco, Mul-T-Lock (sister companies) Schlage, and other manufacturers such as BiLock[8] are advertised to be bump proof. Kaba exerT cylinders consist of 4 rows of pins using a total of 22 pin possibilities, therefore the bumping method cannot be used to gain entry. Kaba pExtra is an inline system that is available with a magnetic pin to prevent the bumping method being used . Medeco and Schlage Primus locks are advertised as unbumpable due to sidebars that must be aligned to a specific depth to enable pin movement and pins chiseled at angles to further thwart bumping. The claim by Mul-T-Lock that their locks are bump-proof is in dispute, as is that of Medeco.

Marc Tobias of has demonstrated that most, if not all, Medeco locks can be compromised in seconds with a strip of metal and a thin screw driver.

Other countermeasures Pickbuster is an aftermarket lock bumping countermeasure in the form of a liquid gel which fills the cylinder serving to dampen the kinetic energy of the bump attack and prevent the key pin separating from the driver pin. This solution has recently been tested by ERA with positive results, and is undergoing extended testing by the the Institute Of Certified Locksmiths. <~ we have not YET seen or heard of this product.

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