This $330 Smart Lock Sold By Apple Has A Worrying Vulnerability

When we took a look at Level's new Lock+ offering in October, we observed as follows: "Spending a million dollars on network security does no good if bad actors can breach the target's physical security with a $10 crowbar."

At the time, we meant it as a compliment. Level had just announced that Lock+ would be an Apple exclusive, committing to a new level of integration with iOS' onboard security tools, particularly the Home Keys feature. Apple has solid digital security credentials, Home Keys seemed to work, the original Level Lock was fairly popular, and the whole concept of a networked solution that also delivered physical, wood-and-metal security sounded like the future.

Unfortunately for Apple and Level, however, it looks like somebody went and bought that crowbar. More accurately, popular YouTuber LockPickingLawyer tested the Level Lock with a rake and a wave tool, then with a bump key, rubber rebound ring, and a hammer. Both are simple, widely used lockpicking techniques, and both had the lock open in seconds. Not good.

The smart lock doesn't seem too secure

In yet more bad news for the manufacturers, while LockPickingLawyer doesn't explicitly confirm which level of Level Lock he's humiliating, he does note that it's available from the Apple Store for $329. That matches the Level Lock+ (via Apple). Lock+ is the highest, most recent, and most expensive degree of security Level offers, as well as the linchpin of its exclusivity deal with Apple. For comparison, a quick Google search shows that the turner and rake LockPickingLawyer used to beat the $329 lock cost about $25, with the bump key-rebound ring-hammer combination coming in around $40.

Buyers could swap out the turn piece element of the lock for one that offers better security, but doing so would increase the cost of the smart lock, which is already pricey to start with. To be clear, LockPickingLawyer's knowledge of locks and how to beat them likely goes beyond that of the average burglar. He has over 4 million YouTube subscribers and sells branded lockpicking tools through his own storefront. The man is effectively a master thief who never actually steals anything — though, in fairness, as of November 1, LockPickingLawyer's video beating the Lock+ has over 671,000 views. Apple and Level may both be feeling a little light around the wallet as a result.