Lockpickers 3-D Print TSA Master Luggage Keys From Leaked Photos

Lockpickers 3-D Print TSA Master Luggage Keys From Leaked Photos

The TSA is learning a basic lesson of physical security in the age of

3-D printing: If you have sensitive keys - say, a set of master keys that can open locks you've asked millions of Americans to use - don't post pictures of them on the Internet.

A group of lock-picking and security enthusiasts drove that lesson home Wednesday by publishing a set of CAD files to Github that anyone can use to 3-D print a precisely measured set of the TSA's master keys for its "approved" locks - the ones the agency can open with its own keys during airport inspections. Within hours, at least one 3-D printer owner had already downloaded the files, printed one of the master keys, and published a video proving that it opened his TSA-approved luggage lock.

Those photos first began making the rounds online last month, after the Washington Post unwittingly published (and then quickly deleted) a photo of the master keys in an article about the "secret life" of baggage in the hands of the TSA. It was too late. Now those photos have been used to derive exact cuts of the master keys so that anyone can reproduce them in minutes with a 3-D printer or a computer-controlled milling machine.


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Reply to
Monty Solomon
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So? Luggage locks are not exactly high-security padlocks. Most of them are tiny, and look like they can be cut with a strong wire-clipper. Or you can just break the handle off the zipper (TSA has done this to several of my bags, even though I didn't lock them), or use a razor blade to cut the fabric of the bag itself.

I've always treated them as measures to stop extremely casual snooping. Anyone who really wants to get into your bags can easily do so, and people who would go to the trouble of 3-D printing keys are obviously in that category.

Reply to
Barry Margolin

I think that the issue is that you do not know if you bag has been opened by a key versus cut open, so you would not know if things had been stolen (or added!) until you actually unpacked it which may be way after you have left the airport versus reporting an obvious crime as soon as you see a violated bag.

Imagine if someone was able to insert all sorts of illegal things in your supposedly locked bag using these master keys and have you as the sucker to pick the bag up at the other end not knowing it had been tampered with.

Reply to
David Clayton

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