Homemade Robot Hacks Heavy Duty Safe in Minutes

A hacking team from SparkFun Electronics in Colorado cracked open a leading-brand’s combination safe, live on stage in Las Vegas at Def Con, in front of the largest gathering of underground hackers in the world.

There’s nothing interesting about this, until you get to the fact that they used a robot, made from nothing but common hardware parts found in your home.

Homemade Robot Cracks Top Shelf Security

According to BBC, a team from SparkFun Electronics created a robot to crack the safe. They bought a SentrySafe safe before the Def Con convention and took both of these along for demonstration.

The robot was able to open the safe within 30 minutes on stage, cracking its combination of 51.36.93.

SparkFun’s Nathan Siedle told BBC:

“That was one of the scariest things we’ve done. Lots of things can go wrong and this was a very big audience.”

Cracking Combinations

The robot efficiently reduced a million combinations to 1,000 before going on to try those leftover ones.

This homemade robot, that cost around $200 to build, used magnets to attach to the exterior of a safe. It is run by an Arduino microcontroller.

You Only Need to press a red button on the robot and let it do the rest.

The safe locking mechanism comprises of three dials that need to be aligned for the safe to be opened. Each dial can be any two digit number – meaning one million potential combinations.

‘We designed it for a particular type of safe, but it doesn’t really matter – you can actually 3D-print a coupler that can match any safe that you may have,’ Seidle said.

It can be used for any safe you want by 3D-printing two new parts

Lost combination

The hacking team started working on it when Siedle’s wife Alicia bought a combination safe on eBay and the owner did not know the combination of the safe. Siedle was challenged to crack the safe open. It took him and his team four months to build the robot.

The Team Was Relieved To See The Safe Crack Open

While talking to WIRED, the spokesman said,’ it accomplished what it was designed to do’.

‘[It] would be realistically very difficult, if not impossible, for the average person to replicate in the field.’