OzLockCon now OzSecCon for 2018

After a very successful first year in Melbourne OzLockCon in a attempt to clarify itself as the premiere physical security hacking conference in Australia has renamed itself OzSecCon. If you’re in the physical security arena and specifically locksport you’ll recognize a lot of the brand names like Jos Weyers whom is a champion at lock impressioning, and Peter Field.

The conference covered a broad range of technologies such as tamper evident, RFID hacking, alarm system (SDR) hacking, key casting, lock picking, safe cracking, impressioning as well as magic and slight of hand tricks. Lock displays were also avaiable. So even if you don’t pick locks there really is something for everyone.

The next conference has been announced, so if you are in Australia or want to meet a lot of your peers OzSecCon is definitely a conference not to be missed if the tweets after the conference talking about how good it was are true.


First Solid Lockpicking Kit

People ask me all the time, “Lockpicking? Why would I ever need to learn to pick locks.”

A fine question in and of itself, but I find it similar to asking why anyone would learn self-defense, wilderness survival, or how to paint. Lockpicking is a skill that has vast and numerous benefits to your mental, physical, psychological, and situational well-being. Sure, there are the obvious: being able to get into your front door when you’re locked out, helping friends when they’ve locked themselves out, and, of course, showing off being able to bypass “that one lock” that’s been locked onto that chainlink fence as long as anyone can remember as a party trick to impress all the party goers and maybe, hopefully, win the heart of that evasive friend you’ve had your eyes on all night.

But there is a world that we haven’t even touched yet. Having the tools in your pocket, with the knowledge in your mind, to bypass nearly any lock you encounter at will changes the world around you. Wall turn to doors. A narrow alley changes from a dead end to a secret entrance to a catacomb of escapes routes. Obstacles melt before you, both physical and metaphorical. And the act of pushing through the difficulties in accomplishing the mental and physical gymnastics that can be exploring a foreign cylinder only to find it has more intricacies than its outer appearance would suggest leads you to, not only be mindful of, but fully embody the lesson that a book should not be judged by its cover, in any context.

To see the world through the eyes of someone skilled with a pick set is a truly unique and unmatched experience. Here at lockpicking.com, we will teach you the skills. But a painter needs paint, and brushes for that matter. Don’t worry, we’ve also got your back. We only offer picks and tools that are field and practice-tested by trained professionals and beginners alike. And for a journey into the art that is lockpicking, we wholeheartedly recommend our 16 Piece Laminated Ripple Handle Lock Pick Set as a pick set for a beginner who has never held a tension wrench (or know’s that you need one! We’re looking at you Hollywood) or the seasoned pro.

Let’s journey together down the rabbit hole that is Lockpicking. We will hold your hand when you’re stuck, let you loose on the ropes course when you need it, and lead you into the field when you’re ready! We’re glad you’re here with us at Lockpicking.com

-Nick Fedoroff
Professional Magician

Clear Practice Lock

When I was first learning to pick locks, I only had a simple 5 piece (Southord, keep in or take out?) “beginner” pickset with a manual, which I still keep for nostalgia. I learned to pick locks on my childhood front door and a few of the more secure locks in my house, but the process was rough. The first lock I opened didn’t take minutes, or hours, it took days! Now, this was for several reasons: Improper technique in that manual (don’t worry, we have much better teaching materials now), too much tension on the tension wrench, and the fact that I was just north of 15 years old and not equipped with patience yet. I picked locks for 3 years like that, blind. Just by the sound and feel of the pins and picks in my hands. If only there was a way for me to actually see what was going on with the lock!

Have you ever wondered what someone was thinking? I mean, exactly what they were thinking? Imagine being able to see exactly what was going on in someone’s mind, emotionally and logically. To have that ability to pierce the veil of human interaction would make you, not only more skilled in accomplishing your goals, but also a better human being. “Oh, if I do this, I see anger and sadness start to come up… better not do that!” Here at lockpicking.com, that’s a bit outside of our scope (for now…), but there is a man that you might want to look up. His name is Paul Ekman and he has written several books on emotions and lying and how they relate to facial expressions (Link to One). If you’ve ever seen the show Lie to Me, it was based on his work.

But using facial expressions to read minds is like using a magnifying glass you dropped in the mud to look at art. Sure, you might see some things you didn’t notice before, but there’s so much interference that you won’t be able to get much clarity quickly. If you’re less interested in unlocking the doors to the human psyche and more interested in unlocking the doors to… literally everything, you’ve come to the right article. There are a few tools that the best lockpickers use to learn faster and get better than anyone else. The most useful of these tools, second only to a good pickset, is (The Clear Practice Lock from Southern Specialties). The amount of insight that facial expression reading gives you to emotional acuity, which is substantial, pales in comparison to the amount of clarity about lockpicking a clear lock with grant you. There is nothing better than being able to see exactly what you’re doing behind closed doors when you’re learning or honing a skill.

By the time I got my hands on a clear lock, I was well-obsessed with locks and lockpicking, but I just wasn’t very skilled at it. From moment one of me getting my hands on that clear lock, my skill shot up at an alarming rate. I was opening five-pin tumbler locks in about 5-10 minutes. Those numbers dropped to about 1-2 minutes on average. I also learned to link the noises and feeling with what was happening inside the cylinder. My rate of learning skyrocketed. I felt like I had x-ray vision! I could almost see what was happening inside any lock just by touching it. Previously impenetrable locks melted open at my touch, and the world felt that much more open to me too, all thanks to a clear lock.

Here at lockpicking.com, we teach you the skills and give you the tools. We only offer picks and tools that are field and practice-tested by trained professionals and beginners alike. And for a journey into the art that is lockpicking, we wholeheartedly recommend the  Clear Practice Lock for a beginner who has never held a tension wrench (or know’s that you need one! We’re looking at you Hollywood) or the seasoned pro. To really take your picking skills to the next level, you’ll need to look behind the curtain. With the Clear Practice Lock by Southern Specialties, you can do just that!

-Nick Fedoroff
Professional Magician

First Lockpicking Pocket Kit

When lockpicking comes up in polite conversation in my life, as it often does, there is a common theme of disbelief. This disbelief is not of astonishment (I wish!), but of misunderstanding. Something like, “I can’t believe that anyone would learn to pick locks as a hobby. Sure, they might say that, but there’s something else going on.”
And, yes, for me it’s a component of work, but to say that it’s either because you’re a “bad guy” or protecting the world from “bad guys” (or mindless lockouts) is both narrow in sight and completely removes the majority of security enthusiasts, but to make my point, we need an example that could be the gold-standard of examples.

Let’s call it “That One Awesome Time my Girlfriend (through no fault of her own) was Locked Out of her Car.”

No, this is not a stereotypical story about an absent-minded girlfriend helplessly being locked out of her car and calling on a “knight in shining armor” to rescue her. This is a story about the highly skilled woman that I’ve been in a relationship with for more than half a decade and her radical self-reliance when it comes to cars, locks, and life! So buckle up!

The story begins with both of us on a trip to the desert for a week. While we were away she had scheduled some maintenance on her car at a shop. This shop will be the center of the conflict. Now, here’s the setup: We are both being driven back by a friend that was on the trip with us, and several other people, she has work early the next morning, the time is 4:15 PM (45 minutes before the auto shop closes), and the kicker: the auto shop has her keys.

Normally, none of this would be a problem, but when she is dropped off at the auto shop at 4:15… it’s closed. No holiday. No phone call. No reason. Just wanted to close early. With the car locked, the keys inside the shop office, and a dead cell phone, normally this would be a problem. Not for my girlfriend! Knowing that she had a spare set of keys not 5 feet inside her front door, she had a second option: break into her own apartment, get the second key to her car, head back to the auto shop, “borrow” the car off the lot, and be at work on time at 7AM (an hour before this particular auto shop opens).

She walks the 5 blocks to her address, around the corner, through the parking lot, up the stairs, and to the door. Now, normally we would have a problem here, with the auto shop having her keys, but my girlfriend, incredibly prepared as she is, pulls out her “emergency” pocket pick set and a quick 30 seconds in front of the door handle and another 2 minutes on the deadbolt and she’s in with her keys headed back to the shop to be on time and stress free for work tomorrow.

There are few things that I can say about the situations that require lockpicks and skills with much certainty. But one that I have a strong conviction about is that They will come when you least expect them and won’t have time to prepare. Therefore you must already be prepared. My girlfriend prepared herself 3 years before when she learned to pick locks and got herself a kit, 2 years before when she got herself an “emergency kit,” 1 year before when she practiced on her own front door to know the imprint, and 7 days before when she threw her pocket pick set into her bag “just in case.” Here at Lockpicking.com we will teach you the skills, we can get you the set, we can give you the practice, the only thing we can’t do is throw it in your bag… but we’re working on it.

-Nick Fedoroff
Professional Magician