It might not look much, with its plain 3D printed arms and cables hanging free, but this little guy can punch well above its weight. Made up of components worth an estimated $150, this auto-dialler can do the same job as a machine worth tens of thousands: it can crack a safe.

The expensive machines that it apes, only sold to military customers, are used to break group two combination locks. They're the ones you get in everyday high-security environments—like on ATMs and gun safes.

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The device, which uses some 3D printed plastic and an Arduino, simply uses brute force attacks to open locks, trying one combination, then the next, and the next... until it finds the right one. It's not a fast process—it can take four days to run through all the combinations for a group two lock—but that may not matter. Speaking to The Register, Jay Davis, one of the men behind the device, explained:

"We're still working on tracking [remaining combinations] so if you get busted you can run away and come back and try later on - not that we condone that... A lot of these locks have about 10 default combinations which never ever get changed and they would be the ones you would want to try out first."

The pair reckon that many safes never have their default codes changes because it's a pain in the ass. In theory, then, it shouldn't to too hard to assemble a list of the common combinations—and that could mean the device could crack a safe in just minutes, rather than hours or days. Safes maybe aren't that safe any more. [The Register]

Image by The Register