Menu
That TSA-approved lock on your suitcase just got hacked

That TSA-approved lock on your suitcase just got hacked

If the lock is 'TSA recognized,' the master keys are out there for anyone to copy

It's a basic fact of life that once you publish something on the Internet, it's pretty much impossible to get it back. Now illustrating that point with painful clarity, images of the TSA's master luggage keys have been published online, meaning that anyone with a 3D printer can make their own.

It all started when The Washington Post published a story last November about "the secret life of baggage" that was reportedly accompanied -- only briefly -- by a photo of the master keys the Transportation Security Administration uses to open what it calls "TSA recognized" luggage locks.

The photo was hastily taken down, but -- predictably -- not before it was snagged and circulated. Reports about the leak began to appear last month, but it wasn't until this week that detailed blueprints showed up on GitHub.

"Security researchers have long warned of the dangers of using master-keyed locks," wrote Xyl2k, the GitHub user who posted the detailed plans.

Now, anyone with a 3D printer can create their own copies of the TSA master keys -- and create them they have, according to reports from exuberant users.

"OMG, it's actually working!!!" wrote Bernard Bolduc on Twitter, for example.

The TSA's master keys are designed to enable security officers to inspect luggage without having to cut off any locks protecting it. They work on locks created specifically for that purpose through partnerships between the agency and lock manufacturers.

"These locks are available at most airports and many travel stores nationwide," the TSA noted in a blog post early last year. "The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA."

Neither The Washington Post nor the TSA responded immediately to a request for comment.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

HP has recognised its top performing partners in New Zealand at the second annual 2016 HP Partner Awards, held at a glittering bash in Auckland. The HP Partner Awards recognises and celebrates excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of its top partners. This year also saw the addition of several new categories, resulting in 11 companies winning across 11 award categories.

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...
Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Ingram Micro outlined its core focuses for 2017 at Showcase in Auckland, bringing together the channel for a day of engaging keynotes, compelling breakout sessions and new technologies.

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland
Show Comments