Look how easy it is to pick the lock on a FedEx transit safe

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/13/look-how-easy-it-is-to-pick-th.html

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Looking how easy it is for him to do it is different from us mere mortals. However it does appear easy enough to defeat the purpose.

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But what’s in the box!?

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What would anyone want with a piece of moldering carpet anyway?


I never heard of a FedEx transit safe. When I Google “FedEx transit safe”, I get this video and the blog posts about it. When I Google “FedEx safe” I get safety tips.

Is this a real thing? Does it have a different name (that I also never heard of)? Was it made up for this video?

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FedEx.com description - 'FedEx box with safe insert" - https://www.fedex.com/en-us/service-guide/packing-express-ground/express-supplies.html

Maker- https://mpimagnet.com/products/miscellaneous-and-spare-parts/safe-insert

And amazon link to buy - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079RJW98K


blah blah blah pick the friggin lock already. halfway through , still pointing at the box. EDIT!!


I went to one locksport demonstration some years ago and after a small amount of instruction everyone there was able to pick most padlocks. They (and other small locks like this) have to be made small and relatively cheap, and are therefore incredibly insecure.

Given that it’s a flimsy aluminum box, it clearly isn’t intended to offer much more than pretty basic deterrent to casual attempts to open it. That an experienced lock-picker could easily open it seems beside the point.

It raises the question for me, if you were to design a box, using tamper-evident tape to prevent covert entry, whether defenses against overt, casual attempts at opening are useful - and if they are, what, if anything, would work better than a flimsy aluminum box and cheap lock (with this kind of size and weight)?


These boxes are basically the same as putting a strongly worded note on the front of it. If someone has this in their possession and wants in, they will have it open in less than a minute unless they are incredibly stupid. LPL is a lock picking phenom, so it’s hard to judge how hard this is to pick, however the case itself is flimsy aluminum, and can easily be pried open in seconds.

If you’re trying to protect something like sensitive documents this is actually worse security than just putting security tape on the box. Someone can open this up, pick the lock, and re-seal it without anyone being the wiser that the contents have been compromised. With security tape at least there is a broken seal that can’t be repaired, so you know someone looked at your stuff and you can do something about it.

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Personally, I’d pick it, but I have lots of experience. Picking isn’t that hard, it just takes practice.
The other really obvious way to covertly open one of these is to drill out the rivet heads at the hinge, open the box, replace the rivets with new and close the box again. I’ll bet the combination lock has a beveled spring latch so you can make sure the rivets seat properly when you remount the lid, then drop it shut and latched.

I’m failing to see the outrage here; if someone has access to the lock-box in an environment where they can get out their lock picking tools and go to work on it they could also get it open using any number of other tools (hitting it really hard with a hammer would probably do it).

This is a basic deterrent, no one is expecting it to be fort knox.

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It’s not outrage, it’s noting that this things is pretty near worthless. Its only purpose is to deter covert tampering, and since the lock is easily picked, it doesn’t even do that well.

This is only designed to provide basic security and I would argue that if you have to take the box to a hidden area where you’re free to operate on it with whatever tools you like then it’s succeeded in it’s task.

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TIL that 2 minutes and 30 seconds is long enough to inspire a tl;dr reaction. Yeesh.

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Don’t spend a couple days on Deviant Ollam’s channel, or you will be explaining to your boss why you were seen entering the office with out a key code. (And then they won’t do anything about it, you literally can get in here with a screw driver.)


Let’s not even start on FedEx dropbox security.

These tend to have a push-button Simplex lock — and while these can be manipulated, it’s probably easier to just observe the combination being entered. They’re out in public spaces, making it trivial to set up a camera fixed on the buttons, and I imagine it’s much easier to discern button order on video than work out what’s going on with something like a rotary combination lock.

Worst of all — and I can’t confirm this, but it sure seems rational — rather than assign distinct combinations to every dropbox, I’ve heard that FedEx uses the same combination for every box in the area. Compromise one, and you’ve compromised them all.

I feel like the use case here is not documents. Rather, it is things like moderately expensive jewelry. The sort of thing where you would get insurance on the package, but maybe not go as far as to hire the guy with a briefcase chained to his wrist.

It seems like a major problem for the transit safe is that it’s inclusion is a sign of valuable content. The weight and feel of the box will now indicate to anyone picking it up that it’s theft-worthy, something that an ordinary, light box would not. And since the box is portable, a thief can just steal the whole box.

I suppose the use case is that it will be harder for FedEx Employees in a shipping center to get a peak at the box contents or pocket them if they have to steal the whole box? Dunno.