Is online key duplication a safe service? - New York News

Is online key duplication a safe service?

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The use of phone apps is making key making an easy task, and criminals have taken notice.

That's because too much information is being compromised in the process.

Websites and apps are now taking key making online. With a couple clicks of your cellphone camera, new keys can be made to order, and mailed to your home.

"The magic trick of taking a picture of something, and then two days later getting an exact copy of it in the mail," said Ali Rahimi, CEO of Keys Duplicated.

In a year's time, San Francisco based company Keys Duplicated has created and shipped tens of thousands of new keys.

Rahimi says the system is setup to fight fraud. "This person would then have to type in their credit card, and their mailing address. It leaves a pretty long paper trail which points to them," he said.

Paul Kocher with Rambus says "people who are operating these services are putting other people at risk."

Security analysts say anyone can copy your keys using a cellphone and a prepaid credit card.

"Like if you give your keys to a valet, they can easily copy your keys, and they might know where you live through your car registration, for example," said Kocher.

"It's going to be a lot easier for them to just use an old fashioned crowbar. We're not an easy way for someone to gain illicit access to your home," said Rahimi.

Most places that offer key duplication do not store shipping addresses for the keys they create. That way they can make sure there is no record of what key goes where.
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