Weeks after introducing a manual method that narrows the number of potential combinations to a specific Master Lock down to just eight, intrepid hacker and engineer Samy Kamkar has developed an open source, 3D-printed robot that applies the technique automatically. Calling his gadget the “Combo Breaker,” Kamkar claims it can crack a common combination lock in less than 30 seconds.
Kamkar’s device uses a technique that feels for telltale points of resistance along a combination lock’s dial. With the right algorithm, one can use these resistance points to figure out the first and third digits of a three-digit combination lock, along with eight possibilities for the second digit. From there, it’s just a matter of trying each one out. The Arduino-based Combo Breaker is motorized to do exactly that.