The Free Thought Project has reported that the Washington Post has erroneously published an article that included a photograph of the Transport and Security Administration (TSA) master keys.
It is said, after the Post published the photograph, a group of lock-picking and security aficionados download it and printed the master keys using a 3-D printer.
They later uploaded a video that depicted a printed key opening a TSA approved luggage lock. The leaked master keys can open every type of TSA recognized locks, including Master Lock, Samsonite, and American Tourister.
A Montreal-based Unix administrator named Bernard Bolduc, also downloaded the files and printed one of the TSA’s keys using his PrintrBot Simple Metal printer. The key immediately opened a TSA recognized lock on Bolduc’s luggage. He posted a video on Twitter proving that the 3-D printed key worked on TSA-approved locks.
OMG, it’s actually working!!! pic.twitter.com/rotJPJqjTg
— Bernard Bolduc (@bernard) September 9, 2015
The article partially responsible for this major security breach, was titled “The secret life of baggage: Where does your luggage go at the airport?” It mistakenly included a photo of the TSA’s master luggage keys. By simply looking at the photo, lock-pickers figured out how to replicate the keys using 3-D printers. Although The Post has removed the photo from its site, the picture has gone viral on many social media platforms.
The security breach was made worse when a Github user named Xylitol, published a set of CAD files that allow anyone with a 3-D printer to replicate the precisely measured set of TSA master keys.
“Honestly I wasn’t expecting this to work, even though I tried to be as accurate as possible from the pictures. I did this for fun and don’t even have a TSA-approved lock to test. But if someone reported it that my 3D models are working, well, that’s cool, and it shows…how a simple picture of a set of keys can compromise a whole system,” Xylitol wrote in an email to WIRED.
According to researchers, keys can be decoded and replicated from photographs that have been taken as far as 195ft away. The photo in The Washington Post article, is said to have depicted a close-up shot of the TSA’s master keys.
In the U.S., it is said the TSA requires access to luggage without passengers being present. The agency has therefore accepted certain locks which they can open and relock. The luggage locks accepted by the TSA can be opened by authorized personnel of the agency using universal master keys.
Although the TSA is directly responsible for the current security breach, many have also pointed fingers at The Washington Post for publishing the controversial photo.
According to security experts, by allowing the newspaper to photograph the master keys, the TSA have added yet another mistake to their series of security failures. In June, undercover Homeland Security agents successfully smuggled dozens of fake explosives and banned weapons through airport security checkpoints. TSA Acting Administrator, Melvin Carraway, was demoted for not being on top of the job.
An undercover Department of Homeland Security agent also successfully smuggled a fake bomb through a metal detector at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport. in 2013. Again, the TSA screeners were not able to detect the mock explosive strapped to his body.
You want to support Anonymous Independent & Investigative News? Please, follow us on Twitter: Follow @AnonymousNewsHQ
This Article (Beware: Washington Post Gives Out Transport and Security Administration Master Luggage Keys) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com