Hackers can open TSA approved locks with a 3D printed key

Based on a photo of a TSA recognized lock, hackers have used a 3D printer to make a master key that will open almost all of your luggage locks.

A set of CAD files were published to GitHub this week, can be used to print the master key, according to an article om pcmag.com.  The blueprints for the design were based on a picture published in the Washington Post last November for an article about the “secret  life of baggage.”

The photo, which was immediately deleted by the post but can be found elsewhere on the web, offered a number of close-up views of seven different keys.

The TSA approved locks can be bought at any major airport or travel store, and have been designed for use on luggage.  The TSA worked with several lock companies to develop the locks, and had a set of master keys to fit the locks so they can open passengers’ suitcases without having to cut off the locks.

The article continues to say the 3D keys have been tested on devices from Master Lock, Samsonite, and American Tourister.

In an email to PCMag, the user who posted the files to GitHub, Steven K, said, “I made [the keys] for the technical challenge.  I released [the] CAD files because I’m a partisan of full 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.

Montreal-based Unix administrator Bernard Bolduc printed the files and posted a tweet saying it was working, along with a video using a key to open the lock.

The article added that the TSA did not immediately respond to the article, nor has Steven K received any correspondence from the agency regarding his files.


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