May 29th, 2009


Portrait of a lock-picker.

"Do I like to make trouble? Of course, I'm a lawyer!" Tobias says. "Ask yourself, why does a lawyer pick locks? The answer is liability. A lot of companies are arrogant and greedy and stupid bullies who put people at risk. They deserve to have a Marc Weber Tobias problem!" And year after year, Tobias delighted in creating them, hitting Elsafe and the Club, Targus combination and Master locks, iPod leashes and laptop cables. He did the Kryptonite with a Bic pen, post office boxes with a filed key, and electronic home security systems with a UHF walkie-talkie. He was having fun. And in response, the lock companies were forced to address his hacks by upgrading their technology. True to his code, Tobias' meddling was "making shit better." It was all going swimmingly. Then, in the early 2000s, he became increasingly fascinated with the crack cocaine of lock-picking: a technique called bumping. It would lead him to a lock breaker almost as obsessed as he was — and to the biggest security drama of his career.