Fingerprint-Protected Handgun Safe Can Be Opened with Just a Paperclip

A company which tests handgun safes for their reliability has found a flaw in a GunVault safe’s alternative unlocking mechanism that allows malicious individuals to unlock the safe with just a paper clip!

With the increasing number of people buying firearms, number of handgun safes being sold is also increasing. These safes provide a sense of security by limiting the reach of the gun to authorised person only. These also prevent guns from being accidentally used by curious children or some unauthorised person.

HandgunSafeResearch is a website that reviews some of these handgun safes and tries to hack them in one way or another.

Their most recent test subject was the GunVault GVB1000, a $340 (€310) handgun safe that features biometrics protection, meaning it mainly works via a fingerprint-based locking system.

Since any biometrics system needs electrical power to work, and in some cases, batteries may die or electrical power may be cut off to the safe, a secondary key-based lock system is also present.



This is smart engineering and is useful in cases where a robber cuts the electrical power to your house, and you need quick access to the gun. Unfortunately, as the team at HandgunSafeResearch has found, this secondary key-based lock system also adds an additional design flaw.

Because of the key-based locking system’s positioning on the safe, the HandgunSafeResearch has discovered that an attacker could insert a wire through vent holes on the side of the safe and move the release mechanism enough to open the safe’s door.

“Now I’ve done no damage to the electronics in here, no damage to the mechanical components of the locking mechanism, the fingerprint reader still works, the door still opens and closes, and if I take my paperclip with me I leave no indication to as how I gained access,” the HandgunSafeResearch tester explained in their most recent video (embedded below).

It is safe to assume that this “flaw” is actually a second alternative for opening the safe in case electrical power is not available and keys are lost.