What can't you do with a smartphone these days?
There's probably quite a few things you wish it couldn't do, right? Like breaking into your house for starters.
A new app called KeyMe lets users take photos of their keys, store it in the company database and enables them to be printed at one of the KeyMe kiosks.
Now, KeyMe isn't exactly billing itself as the app that lets you steal neighbor's keys and waltz right into the house.
The service is meant to deliver spare keys to those in need, and also prints out fun novelty keys with your favorite team's logo or other fun designs. You can email your key to a friend who might need to get into your house while you are out of town.
However, the threat of someone copying your keys and breaking into your house is real.
One writer over at Wired.com decided to test this theory and was able to get into his neighbor's house with no trouble. He even had permission from the neighbor.
Here's what he did:
I copied my neighbor’s keys at a KeyMe kiosk about a mile from his house, inside a Rite Aid drugstore. After logging in on a fingerprint scanner and choosing my neighbor’s keys from all the keys I’d uploaded, I watched on the machine’s screen as a grandfatherly cartoon figure with a white mustache and spectacles cut them. Seconds later the keys dropped into a box at the front of the kiosk, still warm to the touch. The next morning I let myself into my neighbor’s apartment and interrupted him reading a book about the German battleship Bismarck.
However, KeyMe assures its users that the service is safe to use:
New York-based KeyMe reassures users on its website that “only you can scan your keys” and its “scanning process is designed to strictly prevent any use of flyby pictures.” It claims keys can only be scanned when removed from the keychain (Not so; I left my neighbor’s on his ring) and must be scanned on both sides against a white background from 4 inches away. None of that posed a problem making my stairwell creep-scans.
So what can you do to stay safe? You need to start protecting your keys like you would a password. Now if you set your keys down on a counter at a store or on the table at a restaurant, you could be leaving them vulnerable.
“If you lose sight of your keys for the better part of 20 seconds, you should consider them lost,” says Jos Weyers, a Dutch lockpicking guru and security consultant. “If you find them later, consider them a souvenir.”