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Smartphones making traditional keys less secure

Technology makes wonders possible. Just as it makes new keyless access control with mobile credentials possible, it also renders old methods less secure. The original inventors of mechanical keys could not have imagined all the possibilities of the Internet and the smartphone. They didn’t have it. But now, we do.

The KeyDecoder App

Take a look at this project for Android smartphones. Meant as a tool for locksmiths, it is publicly available to anyone. From a simple photo of a key, it can instruct someone how to get a working copy made. It is open-source software. So, not only can you download it now in working form to your phone, but it’s a great starting point for others to take the concept further. The developer of this tool made the following comment on security:

If you want to protect yourself from having your keys duplicated without your consent (with a picture, or by molding, or more simply by someone asking a locksmith to make a copy), you are invited to apply the same best practices to your keys as you do with your Credit Card or your Password. Just like credit cards and passwords, you must not lend your keys, or leave them unattended.

It used to be that you could lend your keys to someone (even for a minute), and when you got them back you could be fairly confident that your security wasn’t compromised. Although this project has a requirement of a reference card in the background, the technical pieces are all there (and presented nicely) to do the same thing with a photo of a keyring on a table or a lanyard. The security implications are serious.

Keyless access control systems using mobile credentials, like Teleporte, don’t suffer from this problem. For the time being and the foreseeable future, a well-implemented keyless system takes advantage of the newest technology to increase its security.

Talk to us about taking your access control keyless. It is more secure than it seems – and definitely more secure than metal keys in 2023.

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