Level Lock+ HomeKit smart lock can be picked open in seconds

Posted:
in General Discussion
Level Lock+, a Homekit-supporting smart lock with Apple Home Key support, has been demonstrated to be opened by skilled hands in the same time a regular lock can be, but it's still a high-grade lock for your front door.

Level Lock+
Level Lock+


The recently-launched Level Lock is a smart lock for the home, one that replaces an existing locking system with one that communicates with the iPhone. In the latest release, the $320 smart lock also supports Apple's Home Key, which enables a door to be unlocked using an iPhone.

However, a video posted to YouTube has revealed that the lock may not necessarily offer homeowners much more security than a typical non-smart version. The video by Lock Picking Lawyer published on Tuesday shows the basic workings of the Level Lock+, before demonstrating how it can be opened key and iPhone-free with relatively simple methods.

Using tension tool and a wave rake for a few seconds, the lock can be opened and with relative ease. A test using a bump key also produced similarly rapid results.





The YouTuber expresses disappointment that while a smart lock, it is still ultimately a lock, and that security pins could've been included to make it more secure from the outset. However, a redeeming feature of the lock is that it uses a standard key knob cylinder, so a homeowner could replace it with something more robust.

According to Level, the Level Lock+ has an ANSI Grade 1, meaning it meets the standard to be classed as a strong and secure deadbolt lock intended for entranceways, like many other home locks. The same tension tool and bump key methods work on regular locks of this type, too, but at least with the Level Lock+, the homeowner is automatically notified if the lock is opened manually.

That said, the testing for ANSI Grade relates more to the lock's ability to survive blunt-force attempts to gain entry, including impacts, saws, heavy loads, and electrostatic discharge. It doesn't cover lockpicking, which is a skill-based means of gaining entry.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    mystigomystigo Posts: 183member
    So this is not some electronic hack right? It's just like when you have to call a locksmith to come open your door when you leave your keys in your house by accident? I consider that a feature really.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Once again, with feeling:

    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.

    So the Level is exactly as pickable as your current cylinder because it uses your current cylinder. It's like the same cylinder though, as it's a completely standard 5-pin model that you can even re-key to use your existing keys.

    There are LOTS of reasons not to buy this lock, but pickability is not one of them because almost every lock out there is easily pickable. Better reasons include:

    1) If you touch it with any body part, even just brushing it, it will lock/unlock. It's so annoying almost everyone turns it off

    2) the auto-lock will re-lock the door even if its open, which means you you go to close it, BANG

    3) the auto-lock will re-lock even if you deliberately unlocked it. there's no way to leave your door unlocked if you're expecting someone. If you don't have a storm door you can keep closed... well, tough.
    edited November 2022 beowulfschmidtbloggerblogmacguicg27stompymystigoStrangeDaysravnorodomcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    I LOVE the Lock Picking Lawyer, it’s a fun channel to watch. The thing is, the man is not human like the rest of us. If he says a lock is easy and disappointing, it’s great for the average homeowner. Lol
    StrangeDaysravnorodomgrandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,344member
    Once again, with feeling:

    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.

    So the Level is exactly as pickable as your current cylinder because it uses your current cylinder. It's like the same cylinder though, as it's a completely standard 5-pin model that you can even re-key to use your existing keys.

    There are LOTS of reasons not to buy this lock, but pickability is not one of them because almost every lock out there is easily pickable. Better reasons include:

    1) If you touch it with any body part, even just brushing it, it will lock/unlock. It's so annoying almost everyone turns it off

    2) the auto-lock will re-lock the door even if its open, which means you you go to close it, BANG

    3) the auto-lock will re-lock even if you deliberately unlocked it. there's no way to leave your door unlocked if you're expecting someone. If you don't have a storm door you can keep closed... well, tough.
    Yes, the Level Lock adds convenience and maybe the bolt is stronger than cheap Big Box Home Center fare. So except for a butt-hurt wallet, a customer is no worse off.

    But your three points are something I haven't seen before.

    #1 assumes your phone is nearby, right? The video shows touching the phone to the lock but if your first point is accurate, then it's not required. Or I'm not clear as to this feature. Would you expand on that?

    #2 could be very problematic. My door doesn't stand open ever. But if I'm carrying a bunch of stuff and slow getting in or out might the door auto-lock? Is there any adjustment of the auto-lock feature? Not being able to disable it seems like laziness on the part of the app developer.

    #3 still seems like laziness on the part of the developer. Not at all a problem for me. Somebody running out in their robe to get the morning paper might be in for a rude surprise. The plot of a porn flick!

    #1 and 2 would be enough to put me off this lock if I were in the market. But all three of those could be fixed with an app update. Then knock at least $40 off MSRP and lock for a sale. A smart lock deadbolt is in my future. Just maybe not this deadbolt.
    mbenz1962cg27
  • Reply 5 of 14
    maltzmaltz Posts: 448member
    I LOVE the Lock Picking Lawyer, it’s a fun channel to watch. The thing is, the man is not human like the rest of us. If he says a lock is easy and disappointing, it’s great for the average homeowner. Lol

    Raking and bumping (the attacks he used to open this lock in about 5 seconds) are easy, even for the average mortal with zero lock picking experience to perform.  They're also fairly trivial to defend against when designing a lock.  When a lock looks easy for him but requires a skilled lock picker, he says so.
    cg27mknelson80s_Apple_Guyelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    maltzmaltz Posts: 448member
    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.
    I wasn't able to find any mention of changing the cylinder on their website, including the installation instructions.  It seems a bit of a stretch to say that it's the "entire design concept".
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    maltz said:
    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.
    I wasn't able to find any mention of changing the cylinder on their website, including the installation instructions.  It seems a bit of a stretch to say that it's the "entire design concept".
    I’m pretty sure @"maury markowitz" is referring to the Level Bolt. That product is where you keep your existing lock and replace “the bolt”. It’s more than just the bolt but the lock and exterior pieces remain the same.

    Level has a few other locks that are the entire dead bolt. Basically, one is “smart” and works with HomeKit, et al, the next step up adds touch control and the next step up adds HomeKey support. That last is the Level Lock+ which this article is about.

    cg27watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 744member
    Once again, with feeling:

    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.
    Why in the world would anyone think to do this if the Level Lock already comes with its own cylinder?  Let’s stop making excuses for bad design. 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    neilmneilm Posts: 984member
    The Level uses your existing lock cylinder, which by definition remains as secure, or insecure, as it was before.

    As a satisfied electronic lock (August) user for a while now, I'd suggest in the strongest terms that setting it to lock automatically is not something one should do. That goes double if you don't live alone...and don't plan to.
    edited November 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Once again, with feeling:

    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.

    So the Level is exactly as pickable as your current cylinder because it uses your current cylinder. It's like the same cylinder though, as it's a completely standard 5-pin model that you can even re-key to use your existing keys.

    There are LOTS of reasons not to buy this lock, but pickability is not one of them because almost every lock out there is easily pickable. Better reasons include:

    1) If you touch it with any body part, even just brushing it, it will lock/unlock. It's so annoying almost everyone turns it off

    2) the auto-lock will re-lock the door even if its open, which means you you go to close it, BANG

    3) the auto-lock will re-lock even if you deliberately unlocked it. there's no way to leave your door unlocked if you're expecting someone. If you don't have a storm door you can keep closed... well, tough.
    For anyone who uses a Simplisafe system in their home, their smart lock works great and will actually check your door's contact sensor to make sure it's actually closed before extending the locking bar to prevent exactly that - slamming your lock into your door frame haha. The Simplisafe lock is the same as the Level Lock in that it mere replaces the inside knob with a motorized unit and manual lever on top, thereby keeping the same deadbolt in place and not requiring you to have to re-key or carry a separate key which is nice. $99 was also a whole lot easier to swallow for having to remember a PIN or use an app instead of tapping an iPhone to the lock. I wish it worked (easily) with the rest of my HomeKit gear, but the integration with the security system is very good as unlocking the door will automatically disarm the system the way I have it set. Hopefully someday down the road when it's time to replace my switches, dimmers, plugs etc everything will play nicely by then without having to let Amazon or Google into my home haha.
    edited November 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    So the key tumbler is a standard Schlage key tumbler. This “issue” isn’t with the Level Lock itself, but with the tumbler. 

    This is an issue that any Schlage lock would have. In fact on many occasions the LPL has said that locks bought at any big box store are very easily picked regardless if from Kwikset or Schlage. So again the issue technically isn’t with the Level Locks themselves but with the Schlage key tumblers they use.

    If you can find a higher end key tumbler that would be more secure, you are more then welcome to buy it yourself and have it professionally swapped. If you are a DIYer, there’s plenty of videos on swapping the tumbler yourself. 

    At the end of the day if you are fine with buying a lock from Home Depot, or any other big box store then you’ll be fine with a Level Lock. 
    edited November 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,753member
    I think the point people are missing, is this is a $330 lock with a cheapo barrel. It should be something less crap right off the bat. 
    grandact73
  • Reply 13 of 14
    maltzmaltz Posts: 448member
    So the key tumbler is a standard Schlage key tumbler. This “issue” isn’t with the Level Lock itself, but with the tumbler. 

    This is an issue that any Schlage lock would have. In fact on many occasions the LPL has said that locks bought at any big box store are very easily picked regardless if from Kwikset or Schlage. So again the issue technically isn’t with the Level Locks themselves but with the Schlage key tumblers they use.

    If you can find a higher end key tumbler that would be more secure, you are more then welcome to buy it yourself and have it professionally swapped. If you are a DIYer, there’s plenty of videos on swapping the tumbler yourself. 

    At the end of the day if you are fine with buying a lock from Home Depot, or any other big box store then you’ll be fine with a Level Lock. 

    That's like saying a car with a crappy engine is fine - there's nothing wrong with the car, you just need to replace the engine with a decent one!  This is the cylinder the lock comes with, and for the kind of money you're paying, replacing the cylinder shouldn't be something you have to do to get a decent lock - which is, after all, it's primary function.
    elijahg
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