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Practical Lock Picking: A Physical Penetration Tester's Training Guide Paperback – July 23, 2010
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Winner of the Best Book Bejtlich Read in 2010--
"Practical Lock Picking (PLP) is an awesome book. I don't provide physical testing services, but as a security professional familiar with Deviant's reputation I was curious to read PLP. Not only is PLP an incredible resource, it should also serve as a model text for others who want to write a good book. First, although the book is less than 250 pages, it is very reasonably priced. Second, Deviant wastes NO space. There is no filler material, background found in other readily available texts, reprinted Web site content, etc. Third, the writing is exceptionally clear and methodical, with extreme attention to detail and a master's approach to educating the reader. Finally, the diagrams, pictures, and figures are superb."--Richard Bejtlich, TaoSecurity
"No matter what your background is, if you want a new and fascinating insight into this world, I don't think any book will give you a better introduction to this field than this one."--Barry Wels, Founder and President, The open Organisation Of Lockpickers
"You have exhausted your budgets on the myriad of high tech cyber threats and finally have time to take a breath. Just as you settle in your chair to review the dashboard which shows the fruits of your tireless effort, an alert hits your phone. The voice on the phone cries out 'The servers are GONE!' This book will show you what happens when attackers decide to 'get physical."--Chris Nickerson, Lares Consulting
"The clear explanation and plentiful diagrams leave the reader with a clear idea of how lock mechanisms work, and the practice exercises that follow build on this knowledge to allow the reader to quickly progress before moving on to the simpler techniques, shimming and bumping...Overall the book does much to dispel the myth that lock-picking is an arcane, difficult art and puts the reader in a position to carry out more effective physical security reviews...In summary this is an excellent practical introduction to the subject and the publishers are to be congratulated for producing another good niche penetration testing book."--Nick Dunn, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
"Deviant’s material is presented with rich, detailed diagrams and is offered in easy-to-follow lessons which allow even beginners to acquire the knowledge very quickly. Everything from straightforward lockpicking to quick-entry techniques like shimming, bumping, and bypassing is explained and show. Whether you’re being hired to penetrate security or simply trying to harden your own defenses, this book is essential."--The Journal of Law Enforcement
"While reading this book, it will be difficult for you to sit calmly and go through it, you will be tempted to look for the locks around your house and start tinkering with it…. What makes this book easy to understand are the clear cut diagrams showing the internal design of locks. You will hardly find a page in this book without those design pictures and all of these are precise engineering-diagram types – not just some random lock pictures. It is very clear that author has taken great efforts to get those pictures right and this is what gives this book 5 star rank!"--SecurityXploded Blog
"There is a well known member of the locksport community called Deviant Ollam He has released a book on lockpicking and penetration testing of locks. Practical Lock Picking: A Physical Penetration Tester's Training Guide [Paperback] This man is an excellent teacher and has given many lectures on locks and picking."--Lockpicking.com
"This is a fantastic book that I highly recommend if you have any interest in physical security. It's a great reference and guide book for getting started with lock picking, learning how locks work, and really motivates you to want to get your hands dirty trying out the techniques covered in the book."--Dark Readings Evil Bytes Blog
"Great book for the beginner or an old pro. Been reading lock picking books for 35 years and this is one of the best... Deviant Ollam, one of the security industry's best-known lock picking teachers, has assembled an instructional manual geared specifically toward penetration testers. Unlike other texts on the subject (which tend to be either massive volumes detailing every conceivable style of lock or brief "spy manuals" that only skim the surface) this book is for INFOSEC professionals that need essential, core knowledge of lock picking and seek the ability to open most locks with relative ease."--e2e Security website
"Be sure to check out his book as well: Practical Lock Picking: A Physical Penetration Tester's Training Guide. The book, published this past July by Syngress, comes with a DVD ‘filled with indispensible lock picking videos and color photos.’"--The Ethical Hacker website
"Practical Lock Picking is an awesome book… Not only is PLP an incredible resource, it should also serve as a model text for others who want to write a good book… There is no filler material… the writing is exceptionally clear and methodical with extreme attention to detail and a master’s approach to educating the reader… The diagrams, pictures, and figures are superb… Overall, this book is helpful for those wishing to pick locks AND those who want to know how to write a good book."--TaoSecurity blog
From the Back Cover
For the first time, Deviant Ollam, one of the security industry's best-known lockpicking teachers, has assembled an instructional manual geared specifically toward penetration testers. Unlike other texts on the subject (which tend to be either massive volumes detailing every conceivable style of lock or brief "spy manuals" that only skim the surface) this book is for INFOSEC professionals that need essential, core knowledge of lockpicking and seek the ability to open most locks with relative ease. Deviant's material is presented with rich, detailed diagrams and is offered in easy-to-follow lessons which allow even beginners to acquire the knowledge very quickly. Everything from straightforward lockpicking to quick-entry techniques like shimming, bumping, and bypassing is explained and shown.Whether you're being hired to penetrate security or simply trying to harden your own defenses, this book is essential.
Top customer reviews
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I need to split this into two sections; one for the overall content and one for the design and layout.
As far as knowledge content goes this book is a great primer on locks, how they function and the mechanisms and tools employed for bypassing them. Deviant has a wonderful talent for taking technical knowledge and delivering it in a conversational tone that makes it easy to understand and retain. I've seen others try and share the same information and it just falls flat. On that level alone, this book gets five stars.
Where layout and formatting is concerned, the book needs some serious help. It looks as though the rough draft was approved for publication. The irregular fashion in which images and notations are inserted into the flow of text and the seemingly random sized boxes used to separate them looks jarring and amateurish.
I don't understand why he chose to use greyscale versions of his lock diagrams. I've seen the slide presentations where they were originally used and in full color, they very clearly differentiate the components of the lock and allow for highlighting and directing the reader's focus to the pertinent portion of the image. In greyscale, they lose virtually all of their impact. The inclusion of a single color image (Figure 3.7) is a horrible tease and I wonder why it was included.
As for the photography, many of the photos used have blown out contrast to the point of rendering the image barely usable. It's likely because they were converted from color to greyscale as well, but that's just a guess.
Overall, this book is an amazing resource. I've seen most of the information in various sources before but Deviant has pulled together all of the basics (and then some) into a single location and presents it all in a very user friendly fashion. I just wish some more thought/time/effort was devoted to the design and layout of the book. In it's current form, it's a lead-off stand-up double. Clean it up and fix the design issues and it's a walk-off home run.
The author does a fantastic job at covering the fundamentals of lock picking. He breaks it down into simple components and concepts, and then steps it up to cover advanced techniques and various anti-tampering lock designs. The one complaint I have is that while there are numerous diagrams to help you visualize the lock designs, pins, etc... you have to physically practice to get a better understanding. Some of the diagrams didn't make sense to a beginner, but after reading the book, the basics are all in there and it is a matter of developing practical experience and knowledge. What I got out of this book was that for every wild and crazy lock design intended to prevent tampering, there is a key or a way to get past it.
Overall: 4/5 stars