AXA lock flaw

In a situation somewhat similar to the bump key vulnerability, another serious mechanical lock flaw has been found, this one affecting a popular kind of Dutch bicycle lock.

I found this by means of an interesting blog about mechanical locks.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

6 thoughts on “AXA lock flaw”

  1. The most common kind of lock in the Netherlands:

    Wheel lock

    Also called an O-lock or ring-lock, this is a mechanism mounted on the frame that immobilises the rear wheel by moving a steel bolt through the spokes to prevent motion. It uses a straight or circular bolt which extends from the housing. This type of lock, found particularly on bicycles in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and China, prevents riding the bicycle but does not secure the bicycle to a stationary object. Some models have an optional cable or chain that plugs in to the body of the lock to enable the bicycle to be secured as well.

    These type of lock are very effective and convenient for securing a bicycle against opportunistic theft, when the bike is left unattended momentarily.

  2. Even if these particular locks are flawed, the idea of a lock integrated directly into a bicycle is quite a good one.

  3. You read an amusing collection of blogs.

    There are two big clusters: environment and security. Literature blogs are also in the mix, as well as some local blogs.

    Even if these particular locks are flawed, the idea of a lock integrated directly into a bicycle is quite a good one.

    I agree – especially if you also use a D-lock for extended periods of absence. Defence is depth is an excellent technique. So is built-in security.

  4. Axa bike locks in the media

    Some Dutch media picked up on my last posting on AXA bike locks, including one of the most popular consumer television programs ‘Kassa’. Saturday prime-time, 1.4 million people watched Dirk Bolderman, head of AXA bicycle locks, answer the question how many locks might have this flaw. His answer: “Between 1998 and 2005 we produced four million locks. We assume 100.000 to 200.000 might have this vulnerability. And the locks can not be identified by their serial number”….
    (video available as 33 MB quicktime or on YouTube)

  5. Toool’s field test on AXA locks

    By Barry on news

    In cooperation with Kassa TV and one other organisation we performed a little test. In and around Amsterdam we tried to open over 150 bicycles. We got help from random bicyclists, bike shops, and even received assistance from local law-enforcement. Result: we managed to open around 50% of them….

    By far the most interesting and intriguing thing we found is that almost all locks we could open used the so called ’standard key profile’ (blank AX1P). Locks using the ‘mirror image profile’ (AX1RP) seemed almost impossible to open. And we are still investigating why. And we do warn people the flaw might be exploitable in the mirror image profile someday soon … many people are now looking into it, and it could be a matter of time. But for now it seems ok …

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