Lock picking falls within the scope of what is called physical bypassing. A bypass is nothing more than a technical term for going around or through something by means other than normally utilized.
However, bypassing typically takes advantage of a flaw or weakness in the lock's design.
For example, we normally use a key to get through a padlock. However, if that particular model of padlock utilizes a spring-loaded bolt to hold the shackle, we may be able to very simply and quickly bypass it by sliding a thin sheet of metal between the bolt and shackle — thus releasing the shackle and unlocking the lock. This method of “shimming” is very commonly practiced among bypassers and can even be accomplished by cutting up a soda can.
Another example would be taking a more violent approach and melting the padlock to a frothy liquid with a blowtorch.
Regardless of the method, the goal is the same — to get through the lock without using the key.
When it comes to physical bypassing, the sky is the limit. Your only restrictions are your imagination and innovation. Any and every lock can be bypassed, it is only a matter of how and when — there is no such thing as the perfect lock.
However, in the vast multitude of bypasses possible, lock picking is the apple that falls furthest from the tree. Unlike any other known method, lock picking has an extreme elegance about it — being both highly subtle and strikingly artful.
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