The Daily 3D Detail: Safecracking robot showcased at DEF CON

Posted by Editor On August - 1 - 2017

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

Thousands of engineers, IT professionals, and self-proclaimed hackers descended on Las Vegas from July 27-30 for the world’s largest series of cybersecurity conferences known as the Black Hat Conference and DEF CON. One of the talks at the conference received world-wide attention for its dazzling display of tech-savvy engineering by utilizing 3D-printed parts and a studied application of tumbler design to show off a homemade robot that was able to crack a safe in half an hour.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

The robot is the design of Nathan Seidle, owner of Boulder, Colorado-based SparkFun, purveyor of DIY electronic goods such as Arduinos and Raspberry PIs. The story first appeared in Wired magazine.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

The robot challenge began with a gift of SentrySafe brand fireproof safe to Seidle from his wife, who purchased it cheaply as the original owner had lost the combination. Over the past few months, Seidle and his team of designers, Rob Reynolds and Joel Bartlett, spent $200 on various parts to build a robot whose capacity to examine micron-level differences in tumbler notches was able to reduce the million potential combinations (100x100x100) into a third of the possible options. This then gave the robot a greatly reduced amount of time needed to brute-force the remaining options and open the safe within a time frame of 90 minutes.

At the DEF CON show, Seidle and his team purchased a brand new safe from SentrySafe and set their robot to work. Cracking the safe within 30 minutes brought gasps and cheers from the conference audience, providing a stunning display of how the designing of 3D-printed parts and clever robotics continue to challenge the complex world of cybersecurity.

For more articles on the story, See 3DPrintingIndustry.com and 3DPrint.com. For a tutorial on how to build your own safecracking robot, visit this page at Sparkfun.

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