The tubular lock has many different names including: circle pin tumbler lock, radial lock, or ace lock. The tubular lock consists of multiple stacks of pins in a circular shape. “The key is a cylinder shape with notches cut around the outer or (rarely) inner edge. Each of these notches depresses a single pin inside the lock to a specific height allowing the lock cylinder to turn freely.” [is how it’s described here]
Common Tubular Locks
There is a very high likelihood that you have seen these types of locks within everyday uses. Some common items that make use of a tubular lock are bike locks, vending machines, coin operated machines, some safes, etc. Here is an example photos of a tubular lock on a vending machine:
Tubular Lock Picking
Tubular locks are vulnerable to a lock picking form called self-impressioning. In this specific example, I will be using a tubular lock pick that impressions itself into the lock allowing for a recreation of a working key at a later date.
Tubular Lock Picks
I will be making use of the 7-pin tubular lock pick from Southord (which can be found here – picture below).
Picking A Tubular Lock
- Tighten the locking collar very slightly
- Insert the lock pick into the lock
- Rotate the lock pick along the tubular lock (impressing the picks bars into the locks pins)
- Gently turn the lock pick the rotation the lock requires to open or close
- Upon successful picking – tighten the locking collar to save the key depths to recreate a key at a later time
To help better understand the lock picking method – see the below video of the White Oak Security pentesting technician picking a tubular lock:
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