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Practical Lock Picking: A Physical Penetration Tester's Training Guide

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I feel somewhat like an old man remarking in this fashion, but this book is a great example of the wonderful time in which you currently find yourself. To be alive and learning right now—when there are accessible resources such as this about lockpicking, with beautiful illustrations and lessons written with passion visible on every page—that is truly something.

I reflect back and compare the state of things now with how they were when I was young. I dreamed of being able to open locks. I knew it could be done, but I did not know how. In the 1980s, when my hunger for this knowledge was getting quite powerful, the state of educational materials was very different. Through ads in magazines I found a small publisher in the United States offering a book called The Complete Guide to Lockpicking by Eddie the Wire. This book was an inspiration, both for paying close attention during my English lessons in school (all the better to understand Eddie’s every word) and for obtaining pick tools (which could only be found at an expensive spy shop for the equivalent of $200 at the time).

It was with great excitement that I sat down at home with my first proper tool set, my book, and some locks from the store. However, it took an entire long and frustrating day before the first padlock clicked open. You know (or you will soon find out!) how it feels your first time; you will always remember that moment! The rush was amazing and addictive. From then on I was hooked and tried to pick any lock I could (legally!) get my hands on.

In the following decade, I published articles on my passion for lockpicking and have since presented many hands-on demonstrations at security conferences. It wasn’t long before interested parties began forming sport picking clubs. A group of lockpickers in Germany formed SSDeV; 2 years later I was among those who formed a group in the Netherlands. In 2001, our organization became TOOOL—The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers. Whenever anyone asks why our name is spelled with three O’s, we remind them that to be good at picking there is no other path than to practice Over and Over and Over again. TOOOL has continued to grow and today we are pleased to be able to introduce new people to the topic of locks and security all around the world.

I first met Deviant Ollam when presenting about lockpicking on a trip to the United States. I was attempting to spread the idea that knowledge of physical security matters should be spread much like the details and reports of computer security matters, any industry that encourages open, honest discussion will always have better products, more informed consumers, and better security for everyone overall. When someone showed me slides from one of Deviant’s lectures, I immediately understood that he could be quite an ally. He not only totally grasped the concepts when it came to locks, but he also understood the bigger picture regarding the state of the security industry overall.

Deviant believes in the right of the people to understand how their hardware works in order to properly evaluate it and use it. He now sits on the Board of Directors of the U.S. division of TOOOL and dedicates much of his time to teaching, traveling, and making certain that those who wish to learn can truly understand and follow along with this knowledge. He has also put a lot of energy into developing his illustrations, diagrams, and training materials. The images that appear in this work are unlike any other that most of us have encountered in reference woks at any other time; it’s amazing to compare resources like this book to the ones which have been available up until now.
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