|09-14-2015, 06:30 AM||#1|
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Yikes! Virtually Anyone Can Print 3D TSA Master Luggage Keys
By Dan Heilman, 12th September
As most airline travelers know, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has a series of master keys used by TSA agents to open baggage locks for security checks. Now, with a newly released set of 3D-printable CAD files, it seems almost anyone can create a set of master keys. Even someone without a 3D printer could use a computer-controlled milling machine. The idea grew after the Washington Post ran, then quickly deleted, an image of the TSA keys. But, of course, the image made the rounds of discussion sites, and was posted on Reddit in August. Within hours, a Github user with the handle Xylitol had published the CAD files and made them available for download to anyone who wanted them.
One who did was Unix administrator Bernard Bolduc, who claims he produced a set of the keys in about five minutes with a PrintrBot Simple Metal 3D printer, using inexpensive PLA plastic. One of the keys he made instantly opened the TSA-approved locks on one of his own bags.
Just For Fun
Xylitol said he didnít expect it to work, even though he studied the photos of the keys closely and tried to be as accurate as possible, according to a report in Wired. "I did this for fun," said Xylitol.
Fun or not, the ease with which he successfully re-created the keys raises the question of how easy it would for someone to duplicate Xylitolís efforts and have access to baggage with more than just fun in mind.
The leaked master keys will fit virtually every type of TSA-approved lock made, including those from companies such as Master Lock, Samsonite and American Tourister, according to Wired.
We reached out to Joe Kempton, a U.K.-based analyst with Canalys, who told us that most people put locks on their luggage only as a deterrent. "But letís be honest," he said. "Most locks that people use are not secure, and thieves have effective ways of getting into your bag without even touching your lock in the first place -- for example, using a ballpoint pen to pierce the zipper. "
One thing to keep in mind, is that anyone who prints keys this way will most likely use a plastic filament, which will probably not result in a very sturdy key, especially when it tries to tackle a high-quality lock, Kempton said. Even if someone decided to print a set of metal keys, they might not be much more effective than luggage-opening tools that can be found online.
"What it does highlight, however, is how a similar situation could develop for a much more serious scenario," he said. "If someone posts a photo online which happens to include their house or car keys, they could run the risk of opening themselves up to a much more serious risk of theft from anyone who might scan open social media accounts. As always, the amount of damage criminals can do to our personal lives from oversharing of personal information increases in potential every day."
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