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View Full Version : OT - BEWARE - Weiser SmartKey Not Very Secure



LHC
10-14-2011, 02:17 PM
I was alerted to this by a local locksmith that was making a few keys for my new entrance door and deadbolt. I unknowingly bought Weiser locks that apparently all come with this "SmartKey" technology that allow you to re-key the lock yourself. He told me that his company has stopped selling these locks due to the ease with which you can defeat them with a tool that you can easily make and the plans are all over the Internet.

So I had a look and sure enough, found not some shady operation, but a manufacturer's video showing how to use it !

So I called Weiser customer service - that's where it really got interesting. The customer service rep was extremely defensive as soon as I brought up the topic and proceeded to lecture me on how large a company Weiser is, they have many engineers that fully test and prove things before they are implemented, and that Weiser has taken a lot of business away from the competition as a result of this new feature, which by the way is STANDARD ON ALL THE DEADBOLTS THEY SELL FOR RESIDENTIAL APPLICATIONS.

**first red flag up**

I politely ask if I can send her the video of how easy it is to open the door without a key and she flatly refuses "No sir I do not want to see that video"...

**second red flag up**

I then ask if she has ever had any other customers inquire or complain about this issue, and she would not answer the question.

**third red flag** - Now I am convinced they have a major problem on their hands and are trying to contain the damage.

Unfortunately I have mounted the gripset to the door already and drill a mounting hole through the door for the lower part of the handle. I probably can't go to another mfg lock without screwing up the door (and it was a pricey custom painted thing with stained glass etc.).

The good news however - this "customer service" person did finally tell me that I could go back to the retailer and have them custom order the same product but with the older pin and tumbler mechanism.

I went back to the professional locksmith to tell him the saga, and what do I find - another customer in front of the counter ranting on about "this crap smartkey deadbolt he bought for his house" - haha. Anyway, the fellows there said to get the older pin and tumbler mechanism. Yes, they can be picked too, but the difference in time is about 3-5 minutes for the pin and tumbler versus 3-5 SECONDS for the SmartKey mechanism. So that's what I did - the retailer is looking into it for me now as they never had someone come in with this request before. Probably because most people would have just brought the entire lock/handle back and just returned it. Apparently there are a lot of plastic pieces in the new lock mechanism that make things even more sketchy.

I'm so incensed at the response I got from Weiser, I'm going to take the time to forward this whole episode onto the consumer affairs / product report people as well.

Then again, maybe I'm all wrong and the stuff the professional locksmiths here are telling me is garbage. After all Weiser is a huge company and should not be questioned by anyone (according to the customer service reps).

Hope this helps at least one other person out there.

Lewis

Evan
10-14-2011, 02:22 PM
I don't bother locking the house when I go out. If I lock it and somebody wants in they will either break a window or use a chainsaw.

LHC
10-14-2011, 02:27 PM
I don't bother locking the house when I go out. If I lock it and somebody wants in they will either break a window or use a chainsaw.

haha - I'm starting to feel that way myself after I see how easy it is to defeat the "security measures"....

Evan
10-14-2011, 02:30 PM
If I come home and find things missing then I will kick in the cheapest window before calling anyone.

garagemark
10-14-2011, 03:35 PM
Locks are only good to keep people from wandering into your house. If a bad guy wants in, he's in. I keep personal stuff in a very good safe, but I'm sure that if the guy carries a torch set with him he could breech it as well (it would take some time).

Alarm systems, while not perfect, are your best defense when you are away, and a big cannon by the bed is good for when you are at home.

We had an old drunk stagger around and try to get in the house several years ago. Probably looking for a bottle or a phone. The lock did it's job in this case and he staggered off into the moonlight... But that's about all a lockset is good for in my opinion.

Black Forest
10-14-2011, 05:00 PM
My Dad always said locks only keep honest people honest!

DougA
10-14-2011, 05:09 PM
Locksmith is probably concerned with how much business he is going to lose when people realize they can do it themselves. I bought smart key sets so I key key things alike without any hassle. I love reducing the number of keys I carry. I keyed the doors alike for both of the branches of my business front and back doors. I use keyed alike padlocks for all my trailers and anywhere else a padlock is required.

danlb
10-14-2011, 05:19 PM
haha - I'm starting to feel that way myself after I see how easy it is to defeat the "security measures"....

If you put a deadbolt on a door with a window.... well, the window breaks faster than the lock can be defeated.

Dan

RussZHC
10-14-2011, 05:44 PM
Not sure how accurate "my" version is, just passing along the way it was told to me at Home Depot.

With this smartkey, which as you say comes with each lock set now, you have a key but someone else could use a smartkey, the lock could then be opened by that key and not by yours...what it amounted to was someone could use the smartkey as a pass key right then, you could be locked out when you arrive home or you could just be locked out as your key does now not match what whomever changed it to...causing you even more hassle and cost with the miscreant still capable of entering at any time with a smartkey.

Parents had a version on their garage and it did not lock properly from the start, it would open but never the same way and only with various degrees of fiddling with the lock.

The solution from this Home Depot was to "confiscate" the smartkeys from all sets...I guess in the vain hope of no smartkey "escaping" to be used as stated. Good luck with that:eek:

Scottike
10-14-2011, 06:50 PM
I saw those at HD when I bought new deadbolts for our new home, Decided to pass.
Just bought 5 deadbolts and door latch sets all keyed alike.
The Smartkey thing just looked too hincky too me.
As said above - "Locks are for keeping honest people honest", if a bad person wants in, they'll find a way. At least with a lock they have to "earn" they're reward, and can't just stumble in to the business end of my gun.

flylo
10-14-2011, 09:03 PM
I don't know it's still the same but I know just a fre years ago all John Deere keys were alike. We're stuck in the UP miles off the road & there sits a JD Dozer. My buddy says I coyld start that, he walked over put in his skiddr key & it worked. We didn't use it but I learned a lesson.

Evan
10-14-2011, 10:29 PM
I bought a set of 5 Masterlock padlocks all keyed alike many years ago. My son had a key so he could get into the shed where his bike was stored.

He was in high school at the time and for some reason he decided to try the key on a school gate padlock. It opened. He reported this to the principal and was accused of somehow stealing a school key. The particular key was used by the school district on all outside padlocks at all schools. The principal confiscated the key and called me.

He had called the district maintenance office and had been assured that the school district keys were not available to the general public. I told him that he had better return it to my son immediately since it was my son's legal property and I had several more exactly the same.

The principal was very unhappy about this but did give the key back to my son.


Years ago the Xerox salesman in my territory dropped by my home to show off his new car. He accidentally locked his keys in the car when he parked in my driveway so I offered to open it for him. I pulled out my lock picks and had the good luck to open it on the first try. It took no longer than it would fiddling with the actual key. He was very unimpressed with the "security" of his new vehicle.

When I was a child I taught myself to pick most regular combination locks. It took my father years to catch on to the fact that I had access to his tools in the garage. He finally clued in when I forgot to put one back.

I am pretty familiar with most types of locks and can open most of them by picking. When I can't open a padlock by picking then I use the master key.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/anglegrinder.gif

RancherBill
10-15-2011, 01:45 AM
I agree with Evan's first and second post. Leave it unlocked and IF there is a burglary kick in the cheapest window

I want to add, go out and get a security sign and put it up. It is effective.

danlb
10-15-2011, 02:01 AM
I want to add, go out and get a security sign and put it up. It is effective.

That is only valid if you are not the only one around with that sign. In some cases it is a sign that "I got good stuff!!!"

I find master padlocks tough to pick. I'm always surprised when one opens in the first 10 seconds. The loose cylinder and rough action makes it than a high quality lock. Bolt cutters don't care about the quality. :)

Dan

Arcane
10-15-2011, 02:43 AM
When I was working as a District Operator I had a bunch of keys on my work keyring and occasionally I would find a gate locked to a yard I needed to access. I'd always try and see if one of my keys would work in the locks and I found two locks I had keys for.

Jaakko Fagerlund
10-15-2011, 03:10 AM
I went back to the professional locksmith to tell him the saga, and what do I find - another customer in front of the counter ranting on about "this crap smartkey deadbolt he bought for his house" - haha. Anyway, the fellows there said to get the older pin and tumbler mechanism. Yes, they can be picked too, but the difference in time is about 3-5 minutes for the pin and tumbler versus 3-5 SECONDS for the SmartKey mechanism.
Wow, what a "professional", if he/she claims it holds 3-5 minutes for a Weiser pin tumbler lock. More like seconds on this one too, and, if I remember correctly the Weiser can be bumped open.

How do I know? I'm one of the many hobby lockpickers around the world :) If you really want something unpickable, find an Abloy Protec ;)

japcas
10-15-2011, 09:33 AM
[QUOTE=RussZHC]Not sure how accurate "my" version is, just passing along the way it was told to me at Home Depot.

With this smartkey, which as you say comes with each lock set now, you have a key but someone else could use a smartkey, the lock could then be opened by that key and not by yours...what it amounted to was someone could use the smartkey as a pass key right then, you could be locked out when you arrive home or you could just be locked out as your key does now not match what whomever changed it to...causing you even more hassle and cost with the miscreant still capable of entering at any time with a smartkey.QUOTE]


The people at Home Depot need to open one of these smartkey locksets and learn how they operate. To rekey the Kwikset brand smartkey locks, you have to first insert the key that the lock is keyed to, and then you insert the smartkey tool, remove the original key, and insert the new key that you want the lock keyed to. Now it is keyed to the new key.

I'm not saying they are anymore secure than any other locks, but the B.S. about just walking up and sticking the "smartkey" in and rekeying the lock is just stupid. Having the smartkey tool doesn't give you a free pass into somebody else house with a smartkey lockset. They can be picked just like any other lock if you know what you are doing. It just makes it convenient for keying your property alike so you don't have to carry 20 keys.