Joe Prosser from LaForce, Inc., sent me a link to an article in Wired magazine, which describes the procedure for key duplication using KeyMe, a service that allows you to upload photos of keys and pick up duplicate keys from kiosks in NYC. You can read the full article here – Wired: The App I Used to Break Into My Neighbor’s Home, and here’s a short excerpt:
My neighbor lives on the second floor of a Brooklyn walk-up, so when I came to his front door he tossed me a pair of keys rather than walk down the stairs to let me in. I opened the door, climbed the stairs, and handed his keys back to him. We chatted about our weekends. I drank a glass of water. Then I let him know that I would be back soon to gain unauthorized access to his home.
Less than an hour later, I owned a key to his front door.
What I didn’t tell my neighbor was that I spent about 30 seconds in the stairwell scanning his keys with software that would let me reproduce them with no specialized skills whatsoever. The iPhone app I used wasn’t intended for anything so nefarious: KeyMe was designed to let anyone photograph their keys and upload them to the company’s servers. From there, they can be 3-D printed and mail-ordered in a variety of novelty shapes, from a bottle opener to Kanye West’s head. Or they can be cut from blanks at one of KeyMe’s five kiosks in the New York City area.
A short video introducing KeyMe: