Keys can now be duplicated from photos

Uhho! This sounds scary! Apparently, a group of computer scientists at UC San Diego have come up with a computer program that makes it so a key can be duplicated just by analyzing a photo of one.

According to the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering publication, the program works by evaluating a photograph of a key, marking the notches and indentations on the key with numeric values and then reproducing it.

Led by Stefan Savage, a computer science professor, the students showed off the software at the ACM Conference on Communications and Computer Security 2008. Using close up shots of a key works well, but it also works when taken up to 200 feet away. And while this is no doubt a great step in technology, it is also a bit scary, because it would mean someone could snap a photo of your keys and then recreate them. But I guess we don't have to worry about it just yet, since no one has the software and many keys now possess computer chips for added security.