A deceptively simple but not very secure security key

I recently recalled an interesting security key for a building car park at a block of units we stayed at a few years ago. It was a small block of units with maybe 10 – 20 units in the whole complex, probably built in the 1970s. Underneath was a carpark with a roller door to prevent unauthorised access. A small box stood near the entrance with a receptacle for the key.
In other places we have visited we were usually given a remote control to gain access or sometimes a card to insert. This place had a 6.5mm audio plug attached to a key ring to insert in a socket near the door.

The key

I found it particularly curious as the plug only had two connections, that is it was a mono plug. I wondered how they had implemented security with it. I unscrewed it to reveal a deceptively simple circuit… a wire.

With cover removed and circuit revealed

I have to give the creators full marks for simplicity, but not so many for security.

2 thoughts on “A deceptively simple but not very secure security key

Add yours

  1. Ha, love it! Security by obscurity is generally frowned upon, but it sometimes does have its place. But now that you’ve exposed the secret, I’m going to keep my eye out for 6.5mm jacks near doors 😉


    1. Hi Ken, I would like to know the story about how it came to be there. Was it installed by a professional that was expected to do it cheaply or was it the owner that had some knowledge of electronics. I guess it’s a simple solution 🙂


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