I-Team investigates cyber key duplication - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

I-Team investigates cyber key duplication

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Here's a question for you: Can you name all the places your keys have been today? And how many people could have had access to them?

We're asking you this because of what the Channel 4 I-Team uncovered about new technology and just how easily your keys can be duplicated.

The I-Team found that two pictures from your phone and two seconds is just about all you need these days to make a copy of your home key.

So, where have your keys been today? On your desk? At the mechanic's counter? Maybe the checkout at the grocery store? No need to worry about someone copying them, right?

Well, these days there's a website for everything, including duplicating your keys.

The I-Team snapped two pictures of a co-worker's key with an iPhone, uploaded them to a website, and in a matter of seconds, a copy of her key was on its way in the mail. Just two business days later, it arrived from San Francisco in a small envelope.

But what about security concerns?

"That was a concern that people would bring up, they would bring up other concerns like what if it gets lost in the mail. Or what if you get hacked? Before we even made the first key, we put quite a bit of effort to make sure the service is secure," said Ali Rahimi, the inventor of Keysduplicated.com.

So, does it work? The I-Team got two keys in the mail and both worked like a charm on our co-worker's home.

Rahimi said they have security measures in place to make sure someone isn't duplicating your key maliciously.

"We don't just let you take a picture of any key from any distance, we really do ask you to take a picture of the key close up and of both sides to prove to us that you have physical access to the key. If the image looks tampered with, we don't process it," Rahimi said.

Rahimi said he believes someone with bad intentions is far more likely to gain access to your home the old-fashioned way than by using his website.

"Old-fashioned breaking and entering is so much easier for them," Rahimi said. "The advice we have gotten from law enforcement is that it's pretty unlikely, a pretty unlikely thing to happen."

The Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee said while technology like this is convenient, consumers should always use caution when it comes to their keys and doing business online.

"There are people who hack into online accounts every single day. Convenience and doing business with technology removes us from being safe in our own environment that we create for ourselves," said Kathleen Calligan with the BBB of Middle Tennessee.

The bottom line: The cyber key making business works as long as you can wait a few days for a key. But just remember how easily we were able to copy the key and how easily our co-worker's door opened. Make sure you keep a close eye on your keys and that you're the only one doing the duplicating.

Rahimi said in the year he's been in business, he hasn't had any cases of anyone duplicating keys for malicious purposes. He says the majority of his business right now are business owners who need copies of their keys but don't have the time to go down to the hardware store to do it the old-fashioned way.

He recommends you treat your keys as personal objects, like an ID card or a driver's license, and don't leave them accessible to people you don't trust.

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