The U-Lock bike locks, once thought to be some of the safest and most secure on the market, are now revealed to have a major flaw in their structure. Recently, a video has circulated on the Internet showing how to pick U-Locks, specifically those with a cylinder-shaped, or barrel lock keyhole. According to Security Administrator Bob Bennett the video shows that by simply inserting the non-writing end of a Bic pen into the keyhole and twisting, the lock can easily come undone. Bennett suggests that a U-Lock owner should proceed with caution in using the locks. “[The owners] might want to check the Web site and write to the company, especially now that [the story] has been on the news,” Bennett said. In response to the video, the Kryptonite lock company has issued a statement on their Web site offering a free product exchange to all consumers who are concerned about security of the current Kryptonite tubular cylinder locks with non-tubular cylinder locks. However, only consumers who have purchased a bike lock from Kryptonite since September 2002 were eligible for the free exchange. Also, the offer is only available to those who have bought an Evolution lock, KryptoLok lock, New York Chain, New York Noose, Evolution Disc Lock, KryptoDisco or DFS Disc Lock. The company is offering the exchange through their Web site, http://www.kryptonitelock.com, where lock exchange forms are available. Some UR bikers have already run into problems with faulty bike locks. Freshman Steve Dilk’s bike was stolen a few weeks ago while it was locked up with a Kryptonite circular-shaped key lock. “[I had it] locked since the first day of being here and one day the chain came loose at night, so I locked it and when I came out to fix it, it was gone,” Dilk said. Dilk admitted that he knew when he bought the lock that it was not indestructible, but he was still upset. “I was still pissed to learn that something as simple as a pen can take [the bike lock] down.” Other students expressed surprise on learning that the U-Locks can so easily be broken into. “Wow, that’s really sketchy,” sophomore Amita De Souza exclaimed on learning about the tubular-lock fault. “At least I know never to buy one now,” freshman Josh Kelley added. Bennett did admit that he tried to open a cylinder-shaped locked using a pen and was unsuccessful, but added that students should still be wary. “We just want the student population to be aware that [this problem] is out there, and if they own a Kryptonite lock they should know the risks,” Bennet said. Bennet stressed that the problem was with barrel locks themselves. They are a common type of lock for U-Locks, which is a lock made of rigid metal. UR Security Prevention Office has been encouraging students to use U-Locks for years. Until the problem with the locking mechanism was found, they were considered the strongest type of lock, because they were made of solid metal rather than chain or cable. “Their structural integrity is better than chains or cables,” Bennett said. Additional reporting by Cyrus Levesque.Woo can be reached at mwoo@campustimes.org.



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