Safes and Containers: Insecurity Design Excellence

Presented at DEF CON 20 (2012), July 27, 2012, 5 p.m. (50 minutes)

Insecure designs in physical security locks, safes, and other products have consequences in terms of security, liability, and even loss of life. Marc Weber Tobias and his colleagues Tobias Bluzmanis and Matthew Fiddler will discuss a number of cases involving design issues that allow locks and safes to be opened in seconds, focusing on consumer-level containers that are specified as secure for storing valuables and weapons, and in-room hotel safes that travelers rely upon. In one instance, the insecurity of a consumer gun safe that is sold by major retailers in the United States played a part in the death of a three year old child who was able to gain access to a handgun that was locked in a supposedly secure container. The presenters will demonstrate different product designs that were represented as secure but in fact are not.


  • Marc Weber Tobias - Investigative Attorney and Security Specialist,
    Marc Weber Tobias is an investigative attorney and security specialist living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is the principal attorney for Investigative Law Offices, P.C. and as part of his practice represents and consults with lock manufacturers, government agencies and corporations in the U.S. and overseas regarding the design and bypass of locks and security systems. Marc and his associates also conduct technical fraud investigations and deal with related legal issues. Marc has authored five police textbooks, including Locks, Safes, and Security, which is recognized as a primary reference for law enforcement and security professionals worldwide. The second edition, a 1400 page two- volume work, is utilized by criminal investigators, crime labs, locksmiths and those responsible for physical security. A ten-volume multimedia edition of his book (LSS+) is also available online. Marc has written extensively about the security vulnerabilities of products and has appeared in numerous television and radio interviews and news reports as well as magazine articles during the past thirty years. He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Bar Association (ABA, American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), Association of Firearms and Tool mark Examiners (AFTE), American Polygraph Association (APA) and the American Police Polygraph Association (APPA).
  • Tobias Bluzmanis - Security Specialist,
    Tobias Bluzmanis, Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Tobias came to the United States in 1995 and was granted citizenship in 2000. He has been a professional locksmith for the past 20 years. Tobias is an expert in Covert Methods of Entry and has developed many unique forms of bypass, custom tools, including a decoder for Medeco locks, which was the impetus for the book "Open in Thirty Seconds".
  • Matt Fiddler - Security Specialist,
    Matt Fiddler is a certified and registered locksmith and Security Professional with over 20 years of experience. Mr. Fiddler's research into lock bypass techniques have resulted in many public and private disclosures of critical lock design flaws. Mr. Fiddler began his career as an Intelligence Analyst with the United States Marine Corps. Since joining the commercial sector in 1992, he has spent the last 20 years enhancing his extensive expertise in the areas of Covert Entry Tool Design, Physical Security Consulting, Computer Forensics and Intrusion Analysis.



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