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MacRumors
Aug 8, 2013, 09:59 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/08/house-key-scanning-service-keyme-launches-for-ios-to-help-users-recover-from-lost-keys/)


KeyMe (https://keyme.net/app), a house key data and key replication app, has launched today for iOS, helping users keep secure virtual copies of their keys even in the event that their original keys are lost.

The app includes features such as the ability for users to scan in virtualized photos of keys on their phone using the camera, as well data storage of specific house key characteristics to make locksmith replication easier. KeyMe also gives users the ability to place mail orders for spare keys through the app and to share digital copies of keys with others.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/08/keymescreenshot.jpg Store your key now, thank yourself later. KeyMe is a simple and secure way to store, copy, and share your keys.KeyMe began as a startup in 2012 and raised $2.3 million during its initial round of funding. The company has also installed self-service kiosks (https://keyme.net/kiosk) in select Manhattan 7-Elevens in June, and will continue a gradual rollout throughout the US in the coming months.

KeyMe (http://appshopper.com/utilities/keyme-digital-keychain) can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id663884543?mt=8)]

Article Link: House Key Scanning Service 'KeyMe' Launches for iOS to Help Users Recover from Lost Keys (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/08/house-key-scanning-service-keyme-launches-for-ios-to-help-users-recover-from-lost-keys/)



'Arry
Aug 8, 2013, 10:08 AM
Take photo of key. Get copy of key by mail order. What could possibly go wrong?

newyorkone
Aug 8, 2013, 10:10 AM
Where to begin about how bad an idea this is...

autrefois
Aug 8, 2013, 10:14 AM
My first reaction was that this is a neat tool for people who frequently misplace their keys or want to be sure to have a backup just in case.

My second reaction was there would seem to be a HUGE concern with security. I see people leaving their keys all the time: at a restaurant/bar to go to the bathroom, in the coat area to go use machines at the rec center, etc.

If someone leaves their keys unattended for a few seconds, someone could easily scan a copy of it and get their own copy made. Doesn't even have to be a stranger who scans a key and then follows you to your car or home to break in later — friends, ex's, etc. do sometimes rob people.

I guess people have to be even more careful with their keys now...

EDIT: Their website says: "Keys can only be scanned when off of the keychain, placed on a white piece of paper, and taken from 4" away. Furthermore, we require that users scan both sides of the key." This doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent, although slightly better than nothing I guess.

They also say "To provide the highest level of security for our users, we require a two-step verification process for mobile registration. We combine a robust email authentication with an extremely secure credit card confirmation." So I guess if you're robbed with no sign of forced entry, and you know this service exists, you might be able to find out who robbed you (but I doubt it would hold up in court — how could you prove you just didn't forget to lock up and someone else came by?!).

In any case, seems like a service that would be way too easy to abuse.

firedept
Aug 8, 2013, 10:16 AM
I have a push button coded keypad on my front door and a real estate lock box with a key somewhere on my property. Problem solved and no risk. Plus I have one attack dog and security system if you do get past the code on my front door lock. Solves my problem of lost key.

Oh, and if you get past my dog, I also have an attack wife!

'Arry
Aug 8, 2013, 10:17 AM
It seems like they (https://keyme.net/security)'ve given security a lot of thought:KeyMe's key scanning process is designed to strictly prevent any use of flyby pictures. Keys can only be scanned when off of the keychain, placed on a white piece of paper, and taken from 4" away. Furthermore, we require that users scan both sides of the key.This system is totally secure, as long as


the key is on an unremovable keychain (I don't know about you, but ALL my keychains do not allow the removal of keys in any way)
the potential thief does not have access to a white piece of paper
the potential thief does not have 60 seconds with an iPhone to take a phone of BOTH SIDES of the key.
Totally secure.

liamry
Aug 8, 2013, 10:22 AM
Is this USA only? Can't seem to get it

Xgm541
Aug 8, 2013, 10:22 AM
Misplace a key - change the lock. Simple as that. I don't want any of my keys unaccounted for.

bigcat318
Aug 8, 2013, 10:23 AM
Now I'll always be able to get in to apartments I have previously rented, once I make unlimited copies of the keys.

autrefois
Aug 8, 2013, 10:30 AM
Now I'll always be able to get in to apartments I have previously rented, once I make unlimited copies of the keys.

Hadn't even thought of that — copies of keys you actually had a legitimate reason to have. I'm sure that landlords and new house owners always change the locks...

Look at everything we've thought of in less than a half hour. Imagine what someone who actually wanted to misuse the service could do.

KeyMe, making America less secure one key at a time.™

Xgm541
Aug 8, 2013, 10:33 AM
Now I'll always be able to get in to apartments I have previously rented, once I make unlimited copies of the keys.

I'm pretty sure the landlord of the house's responsibility is to change the locks.

Although I do remember an episode of Breaking Bad where an exterminator company who would get access to the house over a period of a few days to complete their extermination would sell copies of their keys for burglars to rob later.

gkarris
Aug 8, 2013, 10:35 AM
I like "Share A Key", like on Facebook and Twitter? :eek:

cmwade77
Aug 8, 2013, 10:40 AM
How did this make it into the App store? I thought there was an approval process that would prevent this.

Cuban Missles
Aug 8, 2013, 10:42 AM
Hadn't even thought of that ó copies of keys you actually had a legitimate reason to have. I'm sure that landlords and new house owners always change their locks...

Look at everything we've thought of in less than a half hour. Imagine what someone who actually wanted to misuse the service could do.

KeyMe, making America less secure one key at a time.ô

I think there are many risks here and the comments clearly articulate most if not all of them. I too am concerned. However, to look at it from the other side -- You have to have an account to create a key and that leaves a trail so you should think about it before using this service for illegal purposes.

I would encourage this company to compare the digital fingerprints of each key to others. If one person uploads an identical key to that of an other account, some type of warning flag should go up somewhere in the system. That would help to ensure that mutiple people arent uploading the same key to possibly the same location (leaving some margin here for duplicate keys to duplicate locks in different locations - I assume that happens).

Finally for the Grab and run criminals, the only kiosks to quickly get a key are in New York, so the rest of can rest a little (at least for now).

My bottom line is that this needs a little more thought in terms of security, before this is a good thing. Until then, I stay just a little concerned (if I were in NY maybe a little more).

basesnow
Aug 8, 2013, 10:43 AM
Now I'll always be able to get in to apartments I have previously rented, once I make unlimited copies of the keys.

How does this make it any easier? you can make a copy of your apartment key at home depot. Same thing. . .

sulpfiction
Aug 8, 2013, 10:47 AM
It seems like they (https://keyme.net/security)'ve given security a lot of thought:This system is totally secure, as long as


the key is on an unremovable keychain (I don't know about you, but ALL my keychains do not allow the removal of keys in any way)
the potential thief does not have access to a white piece of paper
the potential thief does not have 60 seconds with an iPhone to take a phone of BOTH SIDES of the key.
Totally secure.

Are u kidding? Or getting paid? I want to become a thief today just so I can show u that I DO have access to white paper.

'Arry
Aug 8, 2013, 10:49 AM
Are u kidding?Err, yes.

nagromme
Aug 8, 2013, 11:00 AM
Good gravy!

Any student-level Photoshop operator could take an odd-angle drive-by key photo and make it look to be lying flat on white paper with no keyring! As long as the photo is reasonably sharp and not too edge-on.

And what about people you know (abusive boyfriend, thieving teenage child, drug-addicted friend, babysitter's brother, sociopathic valet) who have regular access to your keys? No Photoshop needed. Sure they could make a mold like in the movies, but this is far easier and would actually work.

The basic idea is good, but key records should be stored locally on your own device(s) and you should take the image in person to a local locksmith. Sell THEM the software/hardware to receive these images encrypted over Bluetooth (or whatever) and make a key without long-term storage, and you have a business model.

Or for long-term storage, you could email yourself or the locksmith a file, but only YOU, in person, could decode. No decoding it online. (Of course if you really want to give the locksmith an image password remotely you could. Save one trip. Still, don't have the locksmith MAIL you the key!)

gregbenz
Aug 8, 2013, 11:06 AM
Forget selling keys, if I was a lock-maker, I'd use this as an opportunity to upgrade everyone who owns a tumbler lock to some next-gen lock (electronic, etc) that can't be so easily copied. They must love this app...

iMerik
Aug 8, 2013, 11:08 AM
This seems very risky for all of us that don't even use the app and makes a great case for never leaving a house key on the keys you give to an auto mechanic, etc. How is their verification process secure at all? How do they know that the key I'm replicating is my house key or a stranger's house key? How do they know when my mechanic says he is replicating his house key and proves his identify and address through their two-step verification process that it's not my house key he's replicating?

firedept
Aug 8, 2013, 11:11 AM
Everyone seems to be worried about the thief. A thief whether they have a key or not is going to get into a house. A simple broken window solves the key problem. I like the concept behind it, but there has to be risk associated with this kind of App.

ritmomundo
Aug 8, 2013, 11:22 AM
I wonder how much it costs to get an advertisement- um, I mean "article" on MacRumors for my apps. Hmm... :cool:

sulpfiction
Aug 8, 2013, 11:38 AM
Err, yes.

Lol...I misread ur post. I re-read it and don't know how I assumed it as saying thief's don't have access to white paper.

Rustus Maximus
Aug 8, 2013, 11:41 AM
Wonder if Schlage or Kwikset funded this? Good way to drive sales of new locks and deadbolts.

Midphase
Aug 8, 2013, 11:44 AM
I imagine the potential for liability and lawsuits is pretty high for this company...regardless what their EULA says!

rebby
Aug 8, 2013, 11:55 AM
I'd be very curious if this photo process works on "high security" locks such as those from Medeco (my personal choice). Either way, the Medeco locksmith and key-blank policies should afford some protection even if somebody is able to ascertain your key-code from a photo (although, with the multi-angle nature of Medeco locks, this appears somewhat unlikely without having more than the 2 side views that this app requests).

Anybody have any specific info pertaining to "higher security" locks, like the Medeco3?

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 8, 2013, 12:00 PM
This technology has existed for the past several years... why are you all concerned that, for once, it's not available via a seedy torrent site that's intentionally giving it to thieves, but instead is giving it to the forgetful?

I needed to teleport my key a few months ago and was shocked and disappointed that no app existed for it yet. At least it's here now. (My car ended up getting impounded because I had left it parked at a 2 hour parking for longer than intended... I had roughly an hour from when I discovered I wasn't going to be back in time until it was impounded... I called up the key smith by where my car was parked to see if he could make a key from a picture I would send him and was shocked that he couldn't.)

In any event... most locks are easily compromised by a jump key anyways.

iMerik
Aug 8, 2013, 12:08 PM
This technology has existed for the past several years... why are you all concerned that, for once, it's not available via a seedy torrent site that's intentionally giving it to thieves, but instead is giving it to the forgetful?

I needed to teleport my key a few months ago and was shocked and disappointed that no app existed for it yet. At least it's here now. (My car ended up getting impounded because I had left it parked at a 2 hour parking for longer than intended... I had roughly an hour from when I discovered I wasn't going to be back in time until it was impounded... I called up the key smith by where my car was parked to see if he could make a key from a picture I would send him and was shocked that he couldn't.)

In any event... most locks are easily compromised by a jump key anyways.
I am humbled and embarrassed that I don't know as much as you do about being able to replicate keys by taking a picture of them. If you provide more information about how this has been done for the past several years, I'll probably be equally bothered by that. It's not that being an app makes this scarier.

Peel
Aug 8, 2013, 12:09 PM
Great! So now I've set up an account with them which required scanning my credit card, which gives them access to by billing address. Then I scan in my house keys.

Predicting a rash of burglaries of Key Me app users in the coming months.

mrxak
Aug 8, 2013, 12:44 PM
Some keys have bitting codes stamped right on them. Not a great thing but even if they don't, it's trivial to figure out if you have physical access to the key, or a picture of one. You can hand-file, or with a machine, create a reference key with all (or enough) bitting codes on it to compare for a particular type of lock/key system. Snapping a photograph of an important key is a pretty standard pen tester's trick that takes only seconds. Even without ever seeing your key, it's trivial to do key impressioning if the attacker has physical access to the lock. In situations where lockpicking is impossible because it would be obvious to observers, an attacker will come back repeatedly, and (starting with a blank one) jiggle a key in the lock to form impressions that can be used over time with repeated filings to create a working key for your lock.

Then there's the fact that most commercially sold locks are absolute rubbish, and easily picked by someone with only moderate skill in the craft. Failing that, an attacker will simply break a window to get inside or force the door. How strong is your door, and door frame? How strong is the glass in your windows?

If this software helps people to realize that keys need to be kept secret just like passwords, then it's done something positive, at least. If anyone wants to really understand physical security, they should take a look into the subject themselves. I recommend the books by Deviant Ollam, particularly Practical Lock Picking and Keys to the Kingdom. The latter book's final chapter "Don't Let Your Keys Talk to Strangers" specifically addresses the issue of photographing keys, among other tricks.

While you're at it, you should also try to learn something of digital encryption as well. The biggest security problems come from people blindly trusting in the products they've bought, without knowing how they actually work (or don't work), and using poor behaviors with regards to security. In other words, many people are clueless, and have no security at all, while under the unfortunate impression that they are completely secure.

moosecat
Aug 8, 2013, 12:50 PM
Perhaps an app like this could require that the user wait 24 hours between taking the first picture of the key and taking the second. Presumably, if you have access to the key for 24 hours, you could just as easily go get a copy made.

Prof.
Aug 8, 2013, 12:53 PM
Time to fill my keychain with a dozen phony keys.

guzhogi
Aug 8, 2013, 12:54 PM
I wonder if there's a limit to how many different keys you can put on your account? I hoping after a certain amount, your account gets flagged. Just something to make the company think, "Hmm, this person seems a little shady."

On a similar note, what about organizations? Some companies I know of have several different keys. Plus, they might have a growing workforce so need several copies of the same key. Though that begs the question: why do they need so many keys and don't they have a locksmith on staff?

Rajani Isa
Aug 8, 2013, 02:09 PM
Are u kidding? Or getting paid? I want to become a thief today just so I can show u that I DO have access to white paper.

I'd use this for things that I would rather not have extra keys around if I can help it, but would like to have the ability to get a spare because other options would be not optimum. Say, vault/firebox keys, or something similar.

Work would probably like it for the car keys.

KindredMAC
Aug 8, 2013, 02:33 PM
ummm.. yeeeahhhh... I'm not too worried about someone scanning my keys.

I just tried my house key and car key. Both were VERY sensitive as to how I was holding the phone, plus the LED flash came on. After fussing with that, it said that it was sending the photo to one of their experts to analyze because of strange markings.

I think this will be a great app to have once the scanning bugs are worked out and I have no fear of someone using this for evil. If someone wants your keys, they will get them, even with something as simple of a piece of play-doh.

musio
Aug 8, 2013, 02:47 PM
next time you go to some place you have to leave your bag or keys at reception, they could take them, scan them and your car/house/?? keys can be copied.

GoCubsGo
Aug 8, 2013, 02:53 PM
next time you go to some place you have to leave your bag or keys at reception, they could take them, scan them and your car/house/?? keys can be copied.

The same keys can be taken to a DIY store where you can make a key yourself. Lowe's Home Improvement has taken the middle man out and now allow you to make your own keys. So there is little difference. This just makes it easier.

Ding.Dong
Aug 8, 2013, 03:44 PM
I donít understand why everyone seems so upset about the existence of this app. Thieves have had the technology to duplicate keys for many years. Havenít you ever seen a movie where someone makes a mold of a key in a brick of clay? Thatís actually easier and faster than taking a picture of both sides. And, thereís plenty of shady locksmiths out there more than willing to help out.

Thieves wonít be using this app to duplicate your keys to break into your house. They already have ways of doing that that donít involve giving credit card information. This just makes it easier for consumers to get a spare key when they need one.

thebudda0424
Aug 8, 2013, 04:01 PM
I thought it was an idea worth exploring so I installed it and tried a key. I was curious about seeing the key info like in the screen shot above so I clicked to get the info a locksmith would need to cut a new key. Guess what? Costs $9.95 to get what you see in the screen shot. Great.

denco101
Aug 8, 2013, 04:05 PM
So, what happens when their system gets hacked? Someone has access to your personal information, including address and all I'm guessing... and they know what key they need to ope your front door!

How convenient!:D

Diode
Aug 8, 2013, 04:14 PM
So, what happens when their system gets hacked? Someone has access to your personal information, including address and all I'm guessing... and they know what key they need to ope your front door!

How convenient!:D

They don't store your address - it's deleted as soon as your key ships.

Besides the app specifically states if you are having a key shipped - ship it to a friend or someone else that does not live at your home address.

Placed a order and my key should arrive sometime early next week. I'm curious how well it will work.

Laird Knox
Aug 8, 2013, 04:59 PM
To everybody worried about the security of the system:

Look up bump keys. ;)

AaronEdwards
Aug 8, 2013, 07:07 PM
The app includes features such as the ability for users to scan in virtualized photos of keys on their phone using the camera, as well data storage of specific house key characteristics to make locksmith replication easier. KeyMe also gives users the ability to place mail orders for spare keys through the app and to share digital copies of keys with others.

To add to the concerns about this in comments above me:

1. You can keep photos of your keys on your phone. If someone would be able to access your phone, that person would then have both your address AND your key.
So, if your iPhone goes missing please remember to call a locksmith...

2. You can share digital keys with others. I do hope that that service is bullet proof and people using this app won't find themselves having shared their keys with burglars...

sulpfiction
Aug 8, 2013, 08:27 PM
C'mon MR..This is just a commercial poorly disguised as a news story. And it's not a free app. Try $10 if u want what's in the SS at the top of article.

saberahul
Aug 8, 2013, 08:41 PM
Is this USA only? Can't seem to get it

Maybe it's me but the idea seems so stupid that maybe it's best not to get it.

flash84x
Aug 8, 2013, 11:23 PM
If you're all convinced a key is going to prevent someone from breaking into your house then you're in for a reality check if it ever happens to you. I get the concerns this brings, but seriously... Locks are only a deterrent.

Also, who is going to wait for a copy to be mailed to them if they lose their key??

macs4nw
Aug 9, 2013, 03:11 AM
Take photo of key. Get copy of key by mail order. What could possibly go wrong?

Where to begin about how bad an idea this is...

Guard your keys, people. This KeyMe is bad for soooo many reasons; There's way too much potential for abuse. Should be banned!

jonnysods
Aug 9, 2013, 07:51 AM
This is a crazy cool idea. I wonder how accurate the keys are.

Or they could drive to the address of your home with they key you sent them and rob you blind.

Gasu E.
Aug 9, 2013, 01:04 PM
I thought it was an idea worth exploring so I installed it and tried a key. I was curious about seeing the key info like in the screen shot above so I clicked to get the info a locksmith would need to cut a new key. Guess what? Costs $9.95 to get what you see in the screen shot. Great.

...And?

phungk1e
Aug 11, 2013, 09:39 AM
At first, there were many many concerns...but after some time analyzing the possible outcome versus other possible methods available.. my only reasonable and realistic concern would be the potential of abuse of replicating "shift keys" that are signed out during work shifts and returned after your shift completes--- and if something would be missing or unaccounted for during a shift, the person who had signed out the keys would be held liable---but perhaps a coworker signed them out a day before you, took a scan during his shift where he had possession of the key, and stole something in the lockup while you were in possession of these keys some time later?

The capabilities that the KeyMe app provides raises concerns of all the potential room for abuseóand has caused most of us to think of possible scenarios on the extreme-end.

I am not totally for or against what this company provides, but just really playing the devils advocate here and brainstorming to one self both sides of the argument on its the service's safety and security to the general public.

For my initial scenario, it's possible that this could very likely occur, but that raises other questions for the business:
- If a business possesses valuable assets on a property, and is accessible, should invest in other forms of security, and do their due dilligence to protect it's employees of breached access and misuse, rather than relying on a name on a sheet of paper and a technology as outdated as a simple key to protect it's valuable assets. it would be an unfortunate way for a company to learn a lesson from.

Keys and locks may deter off or slow down your amateur pocket pickers from opportunity theft; those who know what they're doing and is determined to Rob you will find the means to do so, with or without KeyMe--though why make a copy of a key when they could easily save time and a possible paper trail by just robbing you?

Also, just FYI, these only work for home/office and not for automobiles.

I just also wanted to mention that work keys are often bigger with more advance levels of grooves, but I scanned the same key 8x and all failed to successfully scan because the scan looks "strange" --- and this is your simple front door key btw.

Just remember how everyone freaked out about NFC and credit cards ...here we are, years later down the road, and all the identity thieves I've caught were all those using stolen information by professional methods or brute force.

Regardless of what technology arises beyond the approaching horizon for us, it would never become a more preferred method over the traditional ways. If you are just even a bit concerned that a person may want to hurt you, and take everything from you, then I hope you are doing more ...perhaps..more ...modern...than rely on a piece or chiseled metal to ensure all your belongings remain yours.