Magic Keys

The internet is a disruptor to many industries including security.

There is always a balancing act between convenience and security.  If a building is too secure the people who are supposed to be able to enter will sabotage the devices and procedures.

Take for instance the case of a locked bathroom door in an office building.  Many buildings issue keys to their tenants and keep the bathrooms locked.  The intent is to prevent criminals from using the bathrooms for their crimes.

Of course when you gotta go you gotta go.  Many people would be ok with breaking a lock on a bathroom door rather than wetting their pants.

Many electronic locks have back doors for service, or in case you forget your code.  Even without a code the owner of the lock feels that he or she has the right to be able to enter their building.  So professional security products built in a backdoor to allow access when a code is lost.  This often requires a second code to be entered.

Now there are two ways for burglars to gain entry:  The default code of the lock and the back door code.

This has not caused problems in the past.  Default codes were kept private and were hard to find.  What has changed?  The internet offers easy access to information – including these codes and how to access them.

Now there are a series of magic keys that will let you into many of the buildings in Toronto.  And all you need is an internet connection and Google to use them.

This is similar to the garage door opener issue where a neighbour’s remote will open your garage door.  During installation the default code needs to be changed – otherwise the product is insecure.

Changing the default code is the minimum you should do.  Keep a list of codes you use – don’t expect to remember them several years from now.  Speak to a security professional, like a locksmith, to ensure your building is not easy to enter.