3D Scanning and Printing Threatening Security of Global Shipments

In what has to be a first, a major security firm is putting clients on notice that theives are being aided by 3d printing to help them steal food, electronics and other consumer goods.

G4S, one of the largest private security firms in the United States, put out a note to clients today, warning them that they've seen a significant uptick in incidents where criminals are breaking into cargo shipments, stealing the goods and then using 3d printed locks and cargo seals to cover their tracks.

“We want to ensure that people are alert to this emerging threat and watching for it,” said Robert Dodge, Senior Vice President, G4S Corporate Risk Services. "Some supply chain security programme clients are further sharing the information with their business partners who might use high-security seals."

Dodge explained that the use of 3d scanning is helping criminals create lock, key and cargo seal replicas with relative ease.

3d printed keys

“For just a few hundred dollars you can purchase a 3D scanner that eliminates the need to understand computer-aided design (CAD).  It will not only provide the dimensions for any item but also creates the CAD technical specifications needed to produce a near-perfect replica.”

G4S has been in touch with federal authorities about the issue and according to Dodge, they encouraged his firm to go public with the news.

“US Customs and Border Protection has welcomed the fact we are sharing details of this threat with the business community and appreciated this information.”


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