Researchers Easily Slipped Weapons Past TSA’s X-Ray Body Scanners

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by City Extra, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    Security scanners miss guns, explosives

    A full-body security scanner that’s marketed as the best of its kind has serious flaws that can prevent it from seeing firearms, knives and explosives, says a new study led by UC San Diego. Researchers also say that they were able to tweak the Rapiscan Secure 1000 backscatter X-ray machine’s software to produce an “all clear” image when contraband was present. Rapiscan System’s Secure 1000 was used at dozens of airports between 2009 and 2013, including, for a time, San Diego’s Lindbergh Field. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ordered the scanners to be removed last year because they produced nearly ...


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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/20/terrorism-airport-bodyscanner/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach


    Researchers Easily Slipped Weapons Past TSA’s X-Ray Body Scanners


    Now a team of security researchers from the University of California at San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins plans to reveal their own results from months of testing that same model of scanner. And not only did they find that Corbett’s weapon-hiding tactic worked; they also found that they could pull off a disturbing list of other possible tricks, such as using teflon tape to conceal weapons against someone’s spine, installing malware on the scanner’s console that spoofed scans, or simply molding plastic explosives around a person’s body to make it nearly indistinguishable from flesh in the machine’s images.

    The Rapiscan Secure 1000 machines the researchers tested haven’t actually been used in airports since last year, when they were replaced by millimeter wave scanners designed to better protect passengers’ privacy. But the X-ray scanners are still installed in courthouses, jails, and other government security checkpoints around the country.

    More importantly, the glaring vulnerabilities the researchers found in the security system demonstrate how poorly the machines were tested before they were deployed at a cost of more than $1 billion to more than 160 airports across the country, argues J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor and one of the study’s authors. The findings should raise questions regarding the TSA’s claims about its current security measures, too.

    “These machines were tested in secret, presumably without this kind of adversarial mindset, thinking about how an attacker would adapt to the techniques being used,” says Halderman, who along with the other researchers will present the research at the Usenix Security Conference Thursday. “They might stop a naive attacker. But someone who applied just a bit of cleverness to the problem would be able to bypass them. And if they had access to a machine to test their attacks, they could render their ability to detect contraband virtually useless.”

    Unlike others who have made claims about vulnerabilities in full body scanner technology, the team of university researchers conducted their tests on an actual Rapiscan Secure 1000 system they purchased on eBay.

    http://www.wired.com/2014/08/study-...an-be-smuggled-past-tsas-x-ray-body-scanners/
     
  3. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    TSA Scanners That Saw You Naked Can Be Tricked to Miss Guns, Bombs

    On Thursday morning, at the Usenix security conference in San Diego, researchers from several top U.S. universities will present a study revealing that the controversial airport scanners that let TSA agents see through travelers’ clothes can be fairly easily obstructed from detecting concealed weapons or bombs. In the study, the researchers report (PDF) that the Rapiscan Secure 1000 Single Pose full-body “backscatter” scanner—which the Transportation Safety Administration discarded last year, after four years of use—can be breached by covering contraband beneath simple plastic shields and under clothing that obscures it from monitors. In addition, the scanner’s software can be hacked ...


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    http://www.businessweek.com/article...w-you-naked-can-be-tricked-to-miss-guns-bombs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  4. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    Study: TSA Full-Body X-Ray Scanners Miss Guns, Explosives, Knives

    Teflon tape, molded plastic explosives and handguns are all concealment tricks that a group of researchers were able to pull off on the Rapiscan Secure 1000 machines previously used at TSA checkpoints and currently used at courthouses, prisons and other government security stops. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University maneuvered weapons past the full-body X-ray scanners that were deployed at U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013 – at a cost of more than $1 billion. “Frankly, we were shocked by what we found,” said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of ...


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    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014...y-x-ray-scanners-miss-guns-explosives-knives/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  5. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    It's Shockingly Easy to Hide Guns and Bombs From Backscatter Scanners

    The TSA's full-body scanners never seemed like a very good idea. They're a great way to unwittingly show your naked body to government officials, for one. They're also insanely easy to trick. We've suspected as much for some time now, but a team of university researchers just confirmed some scary security flaws. The scanner in question is none other than the Rapiscan Secure 1000. This backscatter X-ray scanner is the same device that blogger Jonathan Corbett appeared to dupe in a YouTube video a couple of years ago. But not only did the security researchers confirm Corbett's claims, they discovered ...


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    http://gizmodo.com/its-shockingly-easy-to-hide-guns-and-bombs-from-backsca-1624454467
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  6. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    TSA machines failed to detect guns and bombs

    Maybe the TSA should have spent less time tossing water bottles. Researchers easily sneaked guns and bombs through the high-tech X-ray scanning machines, on which the TSA spent more than $1 billion to install at airports for several years, CBS reports. The machines failed to detect explosives, knives and handguns — after researchers used a few simple tricks to hide them, according to the researchers behind the experiment. “Frankly, we were shocked by what we found,” said J. Alex Halderman, a professor at University of Michigan, which worked with several other colleges on the months-long project.


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    http://nypost.com/2014/08/20/tsa-machines-failed-to-detect-guns-and-bombs-researchers/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  7. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    Naked full-body scanners failed to detect weapons: study

    Not only did the body scanners at some U.S. airports expose a traveler’s every line and curve, they weren’t very good at finding weapons, researchers say. Guns, knives and faux explosives were among the contraband snuck past the backscatter X-ray by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University, who bought a surplus Rapiscan Secure 1000 off of eBay. The machine was still wrapped in plastic when J. Alex Halderman and others on the research team bought it from a seller in Europe for about $50,000, he told the Daily News. Their ...


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    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...failed-detect-weapons-study-article-1.1910693
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  8. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    Report: Researchers Spoof TSA Airport Scanners

    Security scanners used until recently by TSA personnel at U.S. airports reveal plenty of naughty bits, just not the naughty bits they were supposed to be detecting to keep the airways safe. At least that's the conclusion reached by researchers from several universities who spent months testing Rapiscan Secure 1000 full-body X-ray scanners used until last year by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airport security checkpoints. The research team found that the scanners were great at outlining people's private parts, but not nearly as effective at detecting weapons and bomb-making materials artfully hidden on their bodies. The team, comprising ...


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    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2463648,00.asp
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  9. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    Researchers can easily fool former TSA X-ray scanners and sneak in dangerous weapons

    This isn’t the first time someone managed to sneak by a weapon past a TSA Rapiscan full-body X-ray scanner, but Wired reports that scientists have taken the procedure to a new level and have come up with various techniques to completely fool the security device. The team of researchers, from the University of California at San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins, have figured out ways to conceal weapons, explosive devices, and even insert malware into the PC that controls the machine that can then be activated with a simple QR code printed on a piece of clothing. ...


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    http://bgr.com/2014/08/20/tsa-scanners-security-issues/


    Researchers can easily fool former TSA X-ray scanners and sneak in dangerous weapons

    This isn’t the first time someone managed to sneak by a weapon past a TSA Rapiscan full-body X-ray scanner, but Wired reports that scientists have taken the procedure to a new level and have come up with various techniques to completely fool the security ...


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    http://news.yahoo.com/researchers-easily-fool-former-tsa-x-ray-scanners-023010118.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  10. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    The only thing I have to say against this article is the AITs are not networked (that I know of), so in order to spoof or hack them, you would have to do so directly at the machine. This is similar to the reports on the xray machines earlier this year - all computer based systems can be hacked given the right access and time, these systems are not on an open network or connected to the inter/intranet based upon the configurations I have seen.
     
  11. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I believe they contain normal PC's, once the wireless chip is enabled they are vulnerable, and unless they are running current anti-virus software (unlikely), they are very vulnerable.
     
  12. City Extra

    City Extra Paperboy

    Vindication for TSA Body-Scanning Crusader?

    Jonathan Corbett was excoriated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) when he posted a video in 2012 showing that it was possible to spoof the agency's nude body scanners and sneak metal objects past airport security checkpoints.

    Now a new independent study of the TSA's Rapiscan Secure 1000 full-body scanner may just show that Corbett was right all along.

    The self-described "scientist, engineer, and frequent traveler" has been a thorn in the TSA's side since late 2010, when Corbett became the first person to file suit against the agency over the alleged invasion of privacy represented by the use of full-body X-ray scanners at airport security checkpoints.

    ...

    Further along in their paper, the team specifically credited Corbett with correctly discovering one important flaw in those devices.

    "In an incident widely reported in the press, Jonathan Corbett suggested that firearms hanging off the body might be invisible against the dark background, an attack we confirm," wrote the researchers from the University of California at San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins.

    ....

    New Scanners May Have Same Flaws
    ...

    Not so fast, says Corbett. The blogger claimed that back in 2012, he managed to also beat one the TSA's L3 ProVision scanners using ATR technology, a machine currently in use by the agency. He also told us that "there's no easy fix for this flaw" in current full-body scanning technology without exposing travelers to greater health risks.

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    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2464160,00.asp
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2014
  13. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    You may be right, I am unfamiliar with the specs at that level, and I have not heard of the machines having bluetooth or wireless hardware as part of the integrated system. I will read some more and see, but you could be correct.
     

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