Massively Popular Safe Locks Have Secret Backdoor Codes

Senator Ron Wyden has found that the DoD banned the use of such locks for U.S. government systems, but deliberately kept information about the backdoors from the public.
Images: SECURAM and Jon Moore/Unsplash. Collage by 404 Media.

Two of the biggest manufacturers of locks used in commercial safes have been accused of essentially putting backdoors in at least some of their products in a new letter by Senator Ron Wyden. Wyden is urging the U.S. government to explicitly warn the public about the vulnerabilities, which Wyden says could be exploited by foreign adversaries to steal what U.S. businesses store in safes, such as trade secrets.

The little known “manufacturer” or “manager” reset codes could let third parties—such as spies or criminals—bypass locks without the owner’s consent and are sometimes not disclosed to customers. Wyden’s office also found that while the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) bans such locks for sensitive and classified U.S. government use in part due to the security vulnerability reset codes pose, the government has deliberately not warned the public about the existence of these backdoors.