The Difference a Letter Makes

From a conversation with a friend, it occurs to me I need to update / clarify my lock selection process flowchart, specifically concerning the “unacceptable results” part.

The good news is the fix is simple – explaining the difference between an overt bypass, and a covert bypass.

From The Amazing King.

Overt bypasses are also fairly simple to explain – someone has successfully circumvented your security measures, but in an obvious way.  Your window is broken.  Your lock is drilled out.  Your front door is kicked in.

And, as weird as it sounds, the fact that your lock or other security system can be bypassed in this way is not strictly a bad thing.  No matter how secure you think something is, I almost guarantee someone can forcibly / destructively get around it.  If nothing else, most of our houses’ external skin is OSB and drywall, and neither stand up very well against reciprocating saws.

The trick in these cases is that you know the bypasses have been committed.  You know someone broke into your house, so it is time to call the cops and have them deal with whomever is inside, if anyone.

Covert bypasses are when you do not know, and this is where things like my complaints about Kwikset’s SmartKey system come into play.

For example, my problem with this video is not that the bypass was so quick, or so easy.  My problem is that it is invisible.

You have no idea that lock is now permanently broken, and can forever be opened with basically anything that can turn the keyway.  You have no idea that there might be a person in your house, right now.  You still believe that when you turn the knob at night, that lock is keeping your family safe.

There is literally no security in the world that someone cannot brute-force past.  If nothing else, a bulldozer will successfully knock down even a solid concrete wall.

But you would know about that.

I strongly advise that you avoid security where the work-around is both invisible and functionally undetectable.  So, yes, look up the product you plan on buying with the words “bypass” and “defeat” and “pick” and “hack and “DEFCON” and see what the results are.  If those results include, say, drilling a hole in a certain spot on your lock so attackers can access a certain part, go ahead and use that particular solution, but make a point of checking that certain spot when you use it.

But if the results include something you cannot see without a full disassembly of your lock?

You should probably find another solution.

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