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Unlock Your Doors With a Knock Code 408

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-a-key-just-much-bigger-and-more-expensive dept.
Erica Campbell writes to tell us IsraCast is reporting that E-lock has developed a new kind of lock technology designed to open a door based on a "knock code." From the article: "This innovation is based on patented technology which uses a series of quick knocking sounds. The discrete mechanical knocks open the lock and are produced by a small device that can be carried by any authorized person. The device which opens the lock needs to touch the door (which can be made out of any material such as metal, wood, plastic or glass) to cause the lock mechanism to open. Since there is no keyhole or contact point on the door, this unique mechanism offers a significantly higher level of security then existing technology."
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Unlock Your Doors With a Knock Code

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  • I'll just put a microphone next to the door and wait for the owner to arrive.
  • We all know that security though obscurity isn't any security at all... Which is how this lock works... But because anyone in audible distance can HEAR the code it isn't even secure...

    So you have security though obscurity but without the obscurity? ... Double home-run for these guys...

    • RTFA. Why do you (and about half the other commenters so far) naturally assume that the technology is that simple?

      "Even more importantly, if an unauthorized person tries to record the knocking sequence and play it back in order to open the door, the lock will not open since the knocking sequence changes every time"

      As another commenter noted, the main reason this is a bad idea is that you're SOL if the battery or power is out.
    • ...one could easily imagine a foam "knocking pad" that would muffle the knock so that it was all but inaudible, while still transmitting enough vibration through the door so that the system could discern the knocks.
    • RTFA
      Even more importantly, if an unauthorized person tries to record the knocking sequence and play it back in order to open the door, the lock will not open since the knocking sequence changes every time.
    • Anyone in audio range can hear the notes as you dial numbers on lots of home alarm systems too. They're considered fairly secure anyway. Hopefully they've stopped including this 'feature' on newer systems.

      Here's why I think this is all irrelevant anyway: This lock isn't intended, or at least isn't ideal for home use. The fact of the matter is that the locking mechanism on the doors isn't usually the weak point of a person's home. Most break-ins rely on poor security practice and the weak structural strengt

    • I bet they're all keyed to "shave and a haircut".
  • And what happens in case of power failure? Or lock failure? Or when the key battery dies?
  • ...anyone actually wanted this! This is a really poor example of our old friend...

    1) Invent interesting tech
    2) Develop product
    3) ???
    4) Profit!

    Justin.

  • In fact the current bunch lock themselves as you walk away from them, unlock themselves when you get close, very unnerving, you have to give the key to someone else to check it's locked.

    I don't really see how this is better than a swipe card or a rfid card for businesses. In the meantime I'll make do with a traditional mechanical key & lock.

     
    • But then I'm so paranoid I won't have remote central locking with the conventional button. No matter how complex the security encoding, somewhere you probably have a single circuit board with RF one side and a relay the other. Inject enough signal at the right frequency and there is a distinct possibility that the relay will be operated regardless of the precautions put on the "official" route.

      Electronic ignition, immobilisers, all of these toys mean the vehicle can be put out of action by an EMP that would

    • In fact the current bunch lock themselves as you walk away from them, unlock themselves when you get close, very unnerving, you have to give the key to someone else to check it's locked.


      With the new Prius, it's easy. When you walk away, the doors lock and the engine shuts off. Along with that, the lights shut off. If you walk away and the lights are still on, then check if your fob fell out of your pocket.

  • ...if your battery goes dead. Of course, you can always pry the hood off the vehicle to recharge the battery, to open the doors. :)
    • I had this problem with my VW Jetta. All of the locks are electrical... no mechanical action. The battery went dead and I couldn't get into the car... had to call AAA to break into the car and open the door from the inside (they are good at it). /Mark
  • by Vo0k (760020)
    Tape a minimicrophone to the bottom of the door, by the hinges. Pull a thin wire to the recorder hidden nearby - or just use one of the commercial short-range "bugs". You can attach it on top of the door, between the door and the frame to hide it better.
    Replay the sequence by putting a speaker with a small metal bar attached to the membrane to produce actual knocks.
  • Know we're is that dictionary?
  • You could always call the Knocksmith...

    Badaboom!

  • Lemme get this straight... so the authorized person types in a code on the keypad to open this door. They can take it with them, right? So what happens if you see them typing in the code and then steal the device? I'm getting dizzy here.
  • by surprise_audit (575743) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @07:58AM (#14825424)
    I have a padlock that's at least 20 years old, with no external holes, other than where the loop comes out of the main body. The key is a flat metal plate about an inch long, with a number of magnets built into it. Place it against the side of the lock and the loop can be pulled up. No batteries, but I imagine it could be rendered unopenable by a sufficiently hard whack with a hammer. But then again, so would most locks...
  • My brother in law once made a door bell which opened the door if the right ringing combination was givven in a specific rithm. Worked great but had a minor flaw that if the bell rang 30 seconds the door would open anyway. That wasn't a problem as nobody would have tried. The neighbors started hating him when he started using the flaw as a feature when he came home too drunk to be rithmical.
  • Well known Muppet Animal is in demand again for the first time since the Muppet Show ended. His randomized syncopated rhythm makes him a perfect temporary replacement for a lost KnocKey...
  • by Jivha (842251) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @08:07AM (#14825453)
    What happens after the designated driver drops you off home?

    "Bye dude...thanks and whatever...yeehaa..."

    "Okie...so now what was the knock again...."

    knockity, knockity, knoccck

    Invalid entry. Please try again.

    knock, knock-de-knock

    Invalid entry. Please try again.

    knock, knock, knock

    Invalid entry. Please try again.

    Kicks the door. Mutters all known curses.

    Invalid entry. You have 2 more options before the system is locked for the next 12 hours.
    • I can almost accept people commenting before reading the article, but not even reading the summary?

      Besides, having the user knock on the door manually would have a much bigger problem than forgetting your knock - someone else listening to it and reproducing it when you're out.
  • With all the technological advancements we've seen in our lifetime, and preceding, why am I still walking around with precisely cut shards of metal tearing holes in my pocket just to make my way through my daily life? If I could carry only one that can be configured dynamically for each lock, that wouldn't be so bad.

    The problem with this particular design is that the lock needs a power source.
  • So how did you crack the new knocking lock?

    I used a traditional brute force entry method... ...so you spent millions of cpu hours cracking the code?

    No my fist cracked the door in a more literal sense.

    Of course there are always BACKDOOR attacks

    In Soviet Russia, Door Knocks You!

    O RLY

    please type the word in this image: subdue random letters - if you are visually impaired, please email us at pater@slashdot.org
  • by Triv (181010)
    yeah, because the one thing I want to worry about when stumbling home at 4am on a friday night, drunk as a skunk, is the accuracy of my white-boy rhythm. I mean, keys are hard enough to manipulate with a belly full o' the irish; i can't imagine how awful this'd be. no. wait. Actually, I can - i foresee many a night spent passed out against my overly secure apartment door. A flying car'd be so much cooler.
  • "The discrete mechanical knocks open the lock and are produced by a small device that can be carried by any authorized person. ....Since there is no keyhole or contact point on the door, this unique mechanism offers a significantly higher level of security then existing technology.""

    [1] what keeps an unauthorized person from usinging this device? if is biometric or combination coded, why not just put those features in the door?
    [2] the key is the weak point of any keyed system. The most that typical att
  • Stanford researchers patent door with secret handshake function to ensure frat houses remain secure against non fraternity members. Apparently comes with electric shock hand buzzer defense mechanism if handshake is incorrect.
  • (a) keep out little kids
    (b) keep out the deaf
    (c) keep out people with no hands/knuckles?
    (d) keep out lock pickers until they figure out how it works

    that's all i can come up with
  • Will become the new "admin/1234."
  • Ok people here we go.. RTFA Even more importantly, if an unauthorized person tries to record the knocking sequence and play it back in order to open the door, the lock will not open since the knocking sequence changes every time. Straight from TFA... I just invalidated at least a dozen posts about how to record this, how it is only security through obscurity without the obscurity, and a few dumb jokes. Not that I think these things are a good idea, but for the love of god read the thing before you make
  • Another advantage of the technology is that all 'KnocKeys' are the same, if the 'KnocKey' is lost or stolen, it is possible to simply buy another 'KnocKey' and enter your personal code. Both the 'KnocKey' and the lock consume fairly little energy and operate using Lithium ion batteries which can last a very long time.

    They mention that the code changes in a rolling code kind of way then they mention the above. This leads me to believe it has th same setup as garage door openers do which is if the rolling co
  • In other news, woodpeckers have suddenly become a very popular pet. Nobody is sure why there is a sudden surge in popularity of the birds, but a large percentage of the new owners seem to be locksmiths and reformed cat burglars.
  • Good. Now someone can steal my "key" with a parabolic mic. No need to rough me up and steal a physical key.
  • Sounds like port knocking to me. Hopefully they don't have a patent on this.
  • There are locks comming on the market now that use essentially the same keyless entry technology as cars have had for years. (better still would be if they can combine it so that when you unlock the door, the front lights come on automatically)
    There are others that work on combination locks (doors on commercial premises have had these for years too)
  • ...who knows, it may be useful. So don't knock it.

    Or, no, wait...do knock it.
  • There seems to be no backup way of opening this lock.

    What if the firmware crashes in it. If the space it locks does not have an alternate means of entry, they couldn't even pull the hinges off to get at the lock. They'd need a fire axe or a jaws of life to get in again.

    All that would have to be done to wedge the door is jam the sonic 'knock' channel. It seems that it would be fairly easy to make a device that sent pseudo random knocks into the door on a constant basis. That would overlap if any knock c
  • "Knock three times...."

    "Open Sesame!"

  • this unique mechanism offers a significantly higher level of security then existing technology.

    Don't they mean "a signifigantly higher level of obscurity"?
  • How is this not from the shave-and-a-haircut department? :)
  • I've been doing this for a while now... without anything to carry around with me. It's called a Taplock [taplock.com] (I think it cost me $50 or so) and I use it to unlock the doors (or open my trunk) in my Miata.

    It works by me simply tapping (kocking) 3 times on the side of the car where the gas filler is. That "wakes it up" then I can tap in my code... one code for the door and another code for the trunk. It works perfectly and nothing is visible outside to let anyone know it's there.

    Bill
  • Okay, so all these devices are the same, and they require you to enter a "personal code" in order to generate a door-knock. This suggests to me that the weak point in the system is not the pattern of knocks, but rather the user keeping his code a secret.
  • Knock, knock.

    Who's there?

    Your neighbor who just broke into your house...
  • Since there is no keyhole or contact point on the door, this unique mechanism offers a significantly higher level of security then existing technology.

    Then is not a comparative, it's a conditional. It's than that needs to be used in its place.

    *shakes head*
  • Shave and a haircut...Two bits

    I know, I know, that is not what they meant by a knock code.
  • Weakest link? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AnotherBlackHat (265897) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @04:31PM (#14829975) Homepage

    Since there is no keyhole or contact point on the door, this unique mechanism offers a significantly higher level of security then existing technology.


    It's only a significant improvement if the old lock was the weakest point.

    Kicking in the door, unlocked / poorly locked windows (or just a brick), carding the door, open skylights ... the list of potential vulnerabilities is almost endless.

    At a guess, I'd say windows, not doors are the weakest physical link in security, with "leaving the back door unlocked" a close second.

    -- Should you trust authority without question?

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