November 3, 2022: Level Lock has issued a statement regarding the LockPickingLaywer video. Find it below.

After a back and forth about the company’s plans to support Apple’s Home Key feature, smart home accessory maker Level officially released its new Level Lock+ last month. While the new smart lock does indeed support Home Key, it turns out that the physical design of the lock actually does a pretty bad job at keeping your door locked…

A video posted on YouTube by the popular channel LockPickingLawyer shows that Level Lock+ is far from secure. In the video, you can see multiple different ways the Level Lock+ can be easily compromised. The LockPickingLawker says that these are “low-skill attacks” to which a $329 lock should not be vulnerable.

I have to admit this design concept is really clean. I love the way all the electronics are hidden away. That said, first and foremost, this is a lock. And a really expensive one at that. The failure to mitigate the vulnerability to these low-skill attacks is really disappointing. At a minimum, they could have thrown some security pins inside, but they didn’t even do that.

I suppose one redeeming quality is the use of a standard key and knob cylinder, so you can swap in something a little more robust. But, at the $329 price point, that shouldn’t be necessary.

The rollout of the Level Lock+ has been confusing from the start. Originally, a representative from Level said that the company had no plans to support Apple’s Home Key feature. Home Key integration lets smart lock manufacturers integrate their lock into the Wallet app so users can open doors just by tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch against the lock. With Home Key, people can also easily share their keys with other iPhone users.

Shortly after that initial statement from Level Home, however, the company released the Level Lock+ with Home Key support. It’s sold exclusively through Apple Stores and retails for $329. It’s similar to previous smart locks from the company in terms of its design, making Home Key support the standout feature.

Check out the full video from LockPickingLawyer below to see the vulnerabilities in action. Does this affect your decision to buy a Level Lock+? Let us know down in the comments.

November 3, 2022 Update:

A statement from Level:

We take security very seriously and ensure that Level Locks are engineered to meet or exceed the highest industry standards for residential locks. We have received the BHMA AAA rating for strength, durability, and finish. This certification requires Level to undergo a number of stringent ANSI tests and are conducted in a certified US testing facility. 

Security goes well beyond the keyway and involves the durability of construction, the device’s performance, as well as robust digital security. Those who have handled and tested our products can attest to the quality and craftsmanship that is executed throughout.

For compatibility, Level uses a typical type C lock cylinder from a major industry supplier and is commonly available in hundreds of lock brands on the market. It’s no secret that any consumer grade lock cylinder can be readily picked by those with some expertise and tools. The only way to limit vulnerabilities around the keyway is to remove it entirely. That is an idea we continue to consider closely though the vast majority of customers prefer the comfort of the keys they have been used to for decades. 

Lock picking accounts for only 4% of home break incidents. The bigger risk is nearly 38% of all burglaries involving non-forced “unlawful entry” – this is according to 2019 FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics. . 

While it makes for an exciting headline, homes are broken in most via open doors and windows, or forced entries. Level products help minimize home break-in risks with Auto-lock settings at your control – a feature that no analog lock can match.

Level provides convenience of access, protection for doors you have forgotten to lock from anywhere in the world and the awareness when the state of your lock has changed. We offer the convenience of using something as simple as your phone to securely access your home instead of dealing with lost keys, or keys placed under mats for friends (the first place any intruder looks). We focus on the things that truly impact the experience for our customers’ everyday lives.

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About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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