Part of the danger with online aution sites isn’t being tempted by those things you always wanted, but by things you didn’t think you wanted. Today’s item scrolled by while I was looking for a Commodore 128 serial adaptor. It looks unassuming enough:

Photo showing a handheld-sized, non-descript metal box with a single serial port and a serial cable.

These are the instructions supplied with the device on the auction page, tidied up for the purposes of blogging review:

  1. Connect the device to the elevator.

  2. Turn on the power switch at the bottom.

  3. Press the green button (the red indicator will turn on), then the decoder automatically starts the decryption program. The red light will turn green after three seconds when the decryption is done. The parameters of the elevator board can be reset.

  4. [Get up to mischief -ed]

It goes into further detail for troubleshooting:

  • If the decryption is not successful, the red indicator automatically turns off and the device enters standby power state.

  • If you plug the device into the elevator, and pressing the green button changes the indicator light to green immediately, the elevator motherboard is already unlocked.

  • If the indicator turns red and green, it means the voltage is low.

I always carry a little pouch in my bag containing short charging cables, a spare USB key, a flat Cat5 Ethernet reel, a micro screwdriver set, and a tiny jar of Tiger Balm. I could easily see where having a KONE lift decoder would come in handy in such a kit, in the unlikely event of an emergency.

I kid, but I’d be half-tempted to buy this, just to see what circuitry is required to decode a lift. Should we be worried that such devices can be so trivially circumvented?