What might people do with a 3D printer at home? One hacker has shown 3D printers and other new hobbyists' tools may allow people to cheaply and easily copy the keys that open police handcuffs. "Ray," who also works as a security consultant, opened handcuffs made by two manufacturers at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference, Forbes reported.
He does not intend to reduce the security of handcuffs around the world, Ray told Forbes. Instead, he wanted to show police departments the weaknesses in their handcuffs, he said. Someone who reproduces the right key could affect an entire police department because departments buy sets of handcuffs that all can be opened with the same key. That way, if one officer in a department cuffs someone, another officer can open the cuffs later.
Ray created copies of keys made by Bonowi of Germany and Chubb of England. He acquired original keys from eBay and from an anonymous source, he said. Then he measured the keys with calipers, designed a sophisticated digital blueprint for them, and created copies using a standard laser cutter and with a home 3D printer. Forbes has a photo of dozens of laser-cut keys getting reproduced at once. Such tools are available in do-it-yourself clubs and personal homes all over the U.S., Forbes wrote. [10 Incredible 3D Printed Products]
Ray plans to publicly post the digital design for the Chubb key, which opens the handcuffs to restrain airline passengers, Forbes reported. He won't do the same for the Bonowi key, which is used for higher-security cuffs.