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3D Printable Master Keys Expose Vulnerability in TSA Security

Posted by 3DPrint360 Staff on

Nearly a week after one of the world's largest security firms made public that their client's shipment were at risk due to the 3d printing of keys and locks, it's become clear that the TSA has a problem too.

The federal body tasked with securing travelers luggage as a set of master keys that allows it to open luggage which it deems necessary to look into.  At a well known hackers conference known as HOPE in New York City, a team of hackers showcased a 3d printable master key which is a replica of the TSA version.

"We were doing this as an act of civil disobedience," a hacker known as Johnny Xmas, that was involved in the project said. "To give the general public a better physical understanding of what it means when government bodies demand to have unrestricted access to everything via the use of master keys."

TSA 3d printing

This isn't the first time that the TSA's master keys for looking into traveler's luggage were compromised.  The digital files of 7 other master sets were released in 2015 after the Washington Post accidentally published a photo of them, allowing hackers to design digital version based off of the photograph.

The TSA, for its part, doesn't seem too concerned.

"The reported ability to create keys to TSA-approved suitcase locks from a digital image poses no threat to aviation security," TSA spokesperson Michael England wrote to VICE News in a statement. "These consumer products are convenience products that have nothing to do with TSA's aviation security regime."

"In addition, the reported accessibility of keys to unauthorized persons does not affect the physical security of bags while being screening (sic) by TSA officers" England added.

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