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TSA Master Lock Keys Leak Online, Have Already Been 3D Printed

2015-09-13 00:55

The master keys used in US airports to open suspicious luggage without cutting the lock have been accidentally leaked online and have now been recreated from photos as 3D-printable blueprints.

TSA (Transportation Security Administration) agents are despised in the US. Despised with a capital D. But while their work has been absolutely necessary to bring back calm, safety, and trust in the air travel industry after the 9/11 attacks, their over-complicated procedures have made them the most unlikable persons in the US.

Last year, in November, The Washington Post ran a story about the inner-workings of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), and more specifically about what happens to baggage when you check it in airports.

The story detailed internal procedures that TSA agents used to deal with suspicious luggage, revealing to the world the existence of multiple master lock keys which could open almost any baggage, regardless of its vendor.

Apparently, according to an older TSA blog post these master keys were created by the vendors themselves, and provided to TSA agents willingly, mainly to avoid damages and the public's wrath of having to cut through multiple security locks on a daily basis during inspections.

The master keys should have never been photographed

The blunder came when the TSA agreed that these master keys should be photographed. These pictures appeared in the Washington Post article for a few hours, after which, realizing their gaffe, the TSA asked the news agency to pull them down.

But as with anything you put on the Internet and then change your mind, this was too little too late. The pictures already hit the Dark Web, and have been reproduced on countless of sites numerous times.

One of the people that eventually stumbled across them was Steven K. (xyl2k), a security researcher that possessed some serious Autocad skills.

He went on to recreate the master lock keys from the available images, creating 3D blueprints, which he later open sourced on GitHub.

Security researcher reproduces TSA master keys from photos
Security researcher reproduces TSA master keys from photos

From the Twitter video below, you can see that it didn't take users long to 3D print their own batch of master keys, and some have gone on to successfully test them.


Source: 2btsWYlxWLzlXZr1yaj9GbtIXZ0NXYt1SYzRXLzV3LzdXZu9SbvNmLhlGZlBHdm92cuM3dl52LvoDc0RHa/ca.ssr.dps

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