Aug 11 2017

Should US Border Cops Need a Warrant To Search Devices?

The answer from me is, OF COURSE, f&ck yes. They can’t search your home, car and anywhere else in the country, they would need a warrant to search devices too. A case by the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is heading to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the US to find out what should […] The post Should US Border Cops Need a...

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Sep 17 2015

Video: 3D printed TSA Travel Sentry keys really do open TSA locks

Breaking the lock, breaking the lock. (video link)

Last year, the Washington Post published a story on airport luggage handling that contained unobscured images of the "backdoor" keys the Transportation Safety Administration, along with many other security agencies around the world, used to gain access to luggage secured with Travel Sentry locks. These locks are designed to allow travelers to secure their suitcases and other baggage items against theft with a key or a combination, while still allowing the secured luggage to be opened for inspection—ostensibly by authorized persons only. The publication of the images effectively undermined the security of the Travel Sentry system, since the images were of sufficient quality to create real-world duplicate keys.

Because Travel Sentry locks are physical things, images of the keys showing the configuration of teeth and notches and shafts are more than enough to enable key makers to construct duplicates. The security of the system hinges on consumers being able to trust that only a properly authorized person can open their luggage, and that trust (even if it’s always been hilariously misplaced) is gone. As Bruce Schneier commented a few days ago: "The whole thing neatly illustrates one of the main problems with backdoors, whether in cryptographic systems or physical systems: they're fragile."

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Dec 04 2013

In airport security scanning, ultra-rare items are harder to catch

In a simulation of airport luggage scanning, a team of researchers has found that the rarer an item is, the less likely a scanner operator is to spot it—that is, if fewer people come through with bomb materials or guns, it will be harder for the operator to spot them when they do.

The Duke University scientists set up the simulation in an “Airport Scanner” app where participants would check virtual suitcases for a set of 78 verboten items, like a stick of dynamite or a gun. Thirty of the items were “ultra rare,” appearing less than 0.15 percent of the time.

Drawing upon 20 million searches, the team found that these ultra-rare items were more difficult for participants to spot than more common things. The ultra-rare items were spotted only 27 percent of the time, while items that cropped up in one percent of suitcases were correctly spotted 92 percent of the time.

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Nov 15 2012

Maker of Airport Body Scanners Suspected of Falsifying Software Tests

Maker of Airport Body Scanners Suspected of Falsifying Software Tests

Rapiscan, one of two companies that supply controversial passenger screening machines to U.S. airports, is under suspicion for possibly manipulating tests on privacy software designed to prevent the machines from producing graphic body images.