The Transportation Security Administration, the authority for the securing the travelers and their belongings are in shock and havoc when they came to know that their highly confidential master key designs were leaked. These master keys can practically unlock any TSA approved locks irrespective of the vendor. It is a known fact that the lock vendors always manufacture their locks to be fully functional with the master keys owned by the TSA.
This all happened when The Washington Post posted an article on 24 November 2014 about the procedures involved when your luggage is checked in at US airports, how the TSA decides which bags to check and a run through of the types of technology used to check the bags. The post contained all the protocols followed by TSA to ensure the safety of the baggage.
The post also included highly confidential photos of the master keys which were used to open suspicious baggage’s during emergencies. Despite the confidentiality the TSA permitted the daily to post the photos of the master locks. After foreseeing the problem the post has been asked to be taken down quickly. However, the paper sold the article and its accompanying images to a local newspaper in Everett, Washington, called Herald Net, which published it on 30 November 2014.
The photos are doubted to have spread completely through the dark web creating numerous copies of itself. Those photos first began making the rounds online last month. The report about the leak was out last month, but it was only until now that a security researcher Steven k [Xyl2k] reproduced the design drawings of the master keys using a design software and he uploaded it to Github.com into 3d Printable files.
Another Security researcher and Unix administrator Bernard Bolduc printed the keys and even tested it with a TSA Lock. After 9/11 the TSA tried and tested every method and left no stone unturned to keep the country safe. This act of allowing the media to photograph something of great confidentiality and importance without realizing its cost has become a topic of debate in most of the forum discussions on the web.
The consequence of this leak is that any person with a 3D printer can print his own master key, which can open every TSA approved locks. There are a number of forums, protest that the existence of a key that can open any lock is a distress.
Steven k [Xyl2k] has posted that “security researchers have warned of the dangers of master keyed locks”
He also told to PCMag that he made the keys for technical challenge. He released the CAD files because he believed in the idea of complete disclosure, and also because these kind of government backdoors are totally absurd in 2015.
He added he didn’t have a TSA-approved lock on which to test his design. In Conclusion, do not trust the TSA locks completely as your keys can be printed by each and everyone with a 3d printer.
OMG, it’s actually working!!! pic.twitter.com/rotJPJqjTg
— Bernard Bolduc (@bernard) September 9, 2015