One YouTuber pointed out that the Level Lock Plus smart lock found in the Apple Store may not be as secure as its $330 price tag suggests. However, Level dismissed these claims, saying lockpicking is not the biggest threat in the real world when it comes to hacking.
Level Lock Plus is a smart lock by Level (not Apple) that is sold in Apple Stores. Despite being a third-party accessory, just like the Logitech iPad peripherals, it fits perfectly with Apple products as it is designed to be used with them; Level Lock Plus can be unlocked with any of the best iPhones or the best Apple Watch devices, even if you forgot your home key.
However, while this smart lock looks like a great pick-up for people looking to improve the security of their home with a futuristic smart lock, YouTuber LockPickingLawyer (opens in a new tab) published a video in which it shows that the gadget can be opened in a matter of seconds.
The well-known online lock picker – who regularly demonstrates to his more than 4 million subscribers his ability to pick almost any lock – begins by praising the fit and finish of Level Lock Plus before announcing that the actual locking mechanism has several serious flaws. In particular, it can be opened quickly using the two methods of selecting the lowest skills.
The first method it uses to open Level Lock Plus is called raking. As shown in the video, raking uses two tools – a simple piece of metal used to tension the lock and a jagged piece of metal called a rake. Keeping the lock taut, the pick will quickly insert and withdraw the rake with a slight up and down motion until it unlocks.
If that sounds easy enough, you’re right. Many lockpicking blogs recommend raking as one of the first methods beginners should learn, saying that if you have the tools, the techniques can be learned in minutes and then mastered fairly quickly. The only downside is that many locks can’t be opened by raking, as this is a trick that should really only work on the most basic and least secure of mechanisms – not the kind you’d expect to sell for $330.
To add insult to injury, LockPickingLawyer used a second technique to open Level Lock Plus, called a punch. This method is based on a special impact wrench with a rubber ring; you tighten it with a similar tool used in the raking example, then hit the end with a hammer until you open the lock.
Raking is another technique that is incredibly easy to learn, and like raking, you can buy all the necessary tools for less than $50.
In response to LockPickingLawyer’s findings, a Level spokesperson told us that while the potential threat of a lockpick is eye catching, only 4% of homes are broken into using this method (according to US Department of Justice (opens in a new tab) and FBI statistics).
They went on to explain that Level’s smart locks help you roughly face “more risk”. 38% of houses are broken into (opens in a new tab) by unforced entry – houses where people entered through an unlocked door or window. Moreover, if a level lock is open, you can see it remotely helping you detect if someone unexpectedly managed to open it with a lockpick or key.
“Level products help minimize the risk of home burglary with auto-lock settings under your control – a feature that no analog lock can match.
“Level gives you the convenience of access, protecting the door you forgot to lock from anywhere in the world, and knowing when your lock has changed state. We offer the convenience of using something as simple as a phone to securely access your home, rather than dealing with lost keys or keys placed under friend mats (the first place any intruder looks at). We focus on things that really make a difference in our customers’ daily lives.”