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TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication 190

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-bruce dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Last year, a Nigerian man boarded a plane from N.Y. to L.A. using an invalid ID and a boarding pass issued to another person. A week later he was caught again with 10 expired boarding passes. In response to this and similar events, the Transportation Security Administration has begun testing a new system at Washington's Dulles International Airport that verifies an air traveler's identity by matching photo IDs to boarding passes and ensures that boarding passes are authentic. The test will soon be expanded to Houston and Puerto Rico."
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TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication

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  • a first (Score:5, Funny)

    by zlives (2009072) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @06:45PM (#39766499)

    sign of sensibility from TSA... the world will end in 2012

    • Re:a first (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jason Levine (196982) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:10PM (#39766627)

      What they haven't announced yet is, for the automated system to work, you first step into a room where a bunch of robotic arms probe your various orifices as painfully as possible. Then, for no apparent reason, you are hit with a high dose of radiation. If you oppose this sensible security measure, clearly you support the terrorists!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by interval1066 (668936)

        They'll never use automation, no sport in it.

        "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
        Those who deny individual rights cannot
        claim to be defenders of minorities."
        - Ayn Rand

        First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
        Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
        Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
        Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out

        • Re:a first (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:45PM (#39767527) Journal

          "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
          Those who deny individual rights cannot
          claim to be defenders of minorities."
          - Ayn Rand

          I believe this statement ignores the possibility that the individual may be discriminated against for traits they share with other individuals who, collectively, do not make up a plurality or simple majority of the population.

          That or it's a logically necessary starting point for Randian philosphy to work.
          I'm inclined to suspect it's the latter, since Randian philosophy is full of assumptions that don't quite match the reality of human behavior.

          Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
          Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

          Didn't Rand hate unions and think Communists were evil?

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        They're trying to come up with a better name than The Probulator.

        Also, every 1 in 100,000 test subjects has a testicle "popped" for no apparent reason (TSA of course says it is 1 in 10,000,000).

      • Re:a first (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @11:35PM (#39767715) Homepage

        Don't forget: The system only costs 5 million dollars per gateway, per year.

        If we only put this much effort into curing heart disease, we'd probably save a life or two.

      • by rwise2112 (648849)
        From Futurama:

        "Well, at least here you'll be treated with dignity. Now strip naked and get on the probulator."
    • by guises (2423402)
      Given that you're already ID'd when you get your boarding pass this isn't a new outrage, I don't see this as positive news though. It's a reminder that we seem to have permanently ceded our right to travel anonymously, and put up hardly any fuss about it in the process.
      • by dave420 (699308)
        As long as the US remains a target for terrorists, you either give up all hints of safety while travelling, or you have to *sniff* tell people who you are. Big fucking deal.
      • I get most of my boarding passes from my computer. It's delivered in HTML, which I can easily edit and view, changing the date to a different one and getting through security because they don't check the validity of the pass. Several people have done this, including some reporters. It's a significant gap, one that can be easily closed with almost no issue for the traveler, and one that makes a lot more sense than the 3oz rule, the shoe rule, or the scanning rule.

        • by guises (2423402)
          Gap in what, exactly? The method you give could be used to defraud the airline, getting on an expensive flight for the cost of a cheap one. Protecting against this means verifying the boarding pass though, it has nothing to do with the identity of the customer.

          Can you describe a situation where knowing the identity of the person flying would be important? I reckon they exist, I just can't think of any.
          • You can get through security with an altered boarding pass; you can not get on a plane that way without somehow sneaking past the gate. The TSA does not currently validate the boarding pass, but the airline does at the gate. An invalid pass means at the least that you're delayed getting on the plane, and at worst, you're getting arrested on at least counterfeit document charges, if not something far more serious.

            There is still one loophole that cannot be closed: the refundable ticket. Say you want to see

            • by guises (2423402)
              Okay... so if I'm reading you correctly you're saying that we need to give up our right to anonymous travel because it makes it easier for airlines to spot people who buy tickets and then return them.

              That's a legitimate gripe, to be sure, but it seems like there are other ways it could be prevented. For example, it used to be that you didn't need a boarding pass to get through security - anyone could go through to see off their significant others without buying, and then returning, a ticket as long as the
              • That's not what I said. Here's where I went in response to your original post that we're identified when we get our boarding pass:

                1. Not all boarding passes are accompanied by positive ID, such as when they're printed from a computer at home.
                2. Such boarding passes may be modified by altering the HTML and redisplaying locally and then printing. Alternately, they can be altered in a graphical editor.
                3. At the moment, boarding passes are not validated by TSA. I just flew last weekend and while they ran my

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      No, it's a sign of institutional stupidity they're trying to compensate for. What is different between ID in the US and in Israel?

      What the goal will become is biometrics regardless of how flawed that is.

      TSA is more about terror than what they claim to be preventing.

    • Re:a first (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:04AM (#39768187) Homepage

      sign of sensibility from TSA... the world will end in 2012

      Not really. There's no sign that he was a threat to the safety of the aircraft, he's just an asshole doing illegal stuff.

      The 'S' part of the TSA stands for 'safety'. They're not there to enforce laws.

      • by gnapster (1401889)

        The 'S' part of the TSA stands for 'safety'. They're not there to enforce laws.

        What? No, it doesn't. TSA abbreviates Transportation Security Administration. The Nigerian may not have been malicious, but he demonstrated a security hole. Patching it is ostensibly within their remit. Am I missing something?

    • Re:a first (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JWSmythe (446288) <.jwsmythe. .at. .jwsmythe.com.> on Monday April 23, 2012 @03:35AM (#39768507) Homepage Journal

          Did you see the price tag on it??

          I never understood why they didn't tie in the TSA checkpoint with state DMV and ICE.

      Does the photo on the ID handed to you look like the photo on the screen? Yes/No

      Does the name on the ID handed to you match the name on the screen? Yes/No

      Does the name on the boarding pass match the name on the ID? Yes/No

      Does the airline ticketing system information match the boarding pass as provided? Yes/No

      If any questions were answered with a "No", separate the person for further evaluation.

      Years ago, someone demonstrated that they could print up first class boarding passes to get through the TSA checkpoint in the preferred travelers line. It didn't do any good getting on a plane, but it got them into the secure area with no hassles. The TSA has no method for checking that a boarding pass is legitimate. Right in the airport. Where every ticket agent has access to the information already. {sigh}

      All US states now have photographs on their drivers license. 13 states allow for an exemption due to religious beliefs.

      Foreign nationals entering the US have to show their passport. Recording the ID at the checkpoint is trivial, and is probably being done already.

      So, if you plan to get on a plane, you probably have a photo on file, that can be retrieved electronically.

      I found out that my state not only has my most recent photo on file, but particular departments can get every drivers license photo I've ever had electronically and virtually instantaneously. That is, it took longer to type my name, than for my pictures to load. I would have said BS, but they were kind enough to turn the screen so I could see it. Our licenses for the last few years have printed. They had photos from years ago where the license was hand typed and laminated with a photo in it.

      I don't quite understand how all federal law enforcement departments don't already have access to this information, other than the fact that our entire country is a clusterfuck of bureaucracy. They've had over a decade to fight it out, where it shouldn't have taken more than a few months to agree upon the terms, and maybe another year to implement.

      • by Tacvek (948259)

        Did you see the price tag on it??

        I never understood why they didn't tie in the TSA checkpoint with state DMV and ICE.

        Does the photo on the ID handed to you look like the photo on the screen? Yes/No

        Does the name on the ID handed to you match the name on the screen? Yes/No

        Does the name on the boarding pass match the name on the ID? Yes/No

        Does the airline ticketing system information match the boarding pass as provided? Yes/No

        If any questions were answered with a "No", separate the person for further evaluation.

        Nice, but you forgot one important step there. Namely:

        Does the photo on the ID match the person presenting it? Yes/No

        That and the fact they they had the ID in their possession are the only things that tie the person to the claimed identity.

        But yes, that is a far more sane idea for improving security than almost anything the TSA has done.

        The real reason that this is not being done might be that the TSA is not a law enforcement agency. Thus it is possible if not plausible that one or more states would not per

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          Funny thing about your argument.. I happen to work in an industry that does contract to acquire data including DMV information. For the right price, a private company can acquire all the drivers license data, as well as complete history on every vehicle you've ever owned.

          TSA may not be law enforcement, but DHS sure is. With that being true, it would be trivial for them to pass the data back to TSA. It may not be a total dump of all the records into a TSA database. Most lik

          • by Tacvek (948259)

            DHS is not a law enforcement agency. Rather is is a United States federal department. It does contain more federal law enforcement officers than any other branch, but that does not make it a LEA.

            The NCIC database is another example. They normally only give access to employees of actual law enforcement agencies (the employes are, however, not required to be law enforcement officers). Thus for the TSA to access it, would require that they used employes of the Federal Air Marshal Service, or get an exception t

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      Why is this sensible? Why do we care that his ID matches his boarding pass? My ID doesn't need to match my ticket when I go to the movies, or the ball game, or get on a bus. Why does it need to match when I get on a plane? Why does the TSA care that the boarding pass is valid. The airline should care, and that is it.
  • What a waste! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skipkent (1510) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @06:49PM (#39766523)

    One person did this, and it seems he was caught both times. Wouldn't that mean that the original practices were working? I guess any way to strip our rights and waste money is a good one. Did all of you know there is a clause allowing airports to opt out and use private security firms?? San Francisco, crazy isn't it, is one of the few airports that has used the option; and guess what, the passengers applaud the effort and can't believe how friendly and quick they are.

    • Re:What a waste! (Score:5, Informative)

      by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:01PM (#39766593)

      Lots of people do this without getting caught.

      http://www.dubfire.net/boarding_pass/ [dubfire.net]

      Glad they are closing this loophole, it is one of the very few things the TSA has done or is doing that makes sense.

      • Re:What a waste! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by zoloto (586738) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:22PM (#39766695)
        The TSA aren't needed at all. This is just a case of making sure those who get on the plane have paid.
      • Re:What a waste! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @09:12PM (#39767131)

        it is one of the very few things the TSA has done or is doing that makes sense

        Why should you need to present ID to fly? I'm 45 - I remember flying in the 80s to a student conference using the ticket of a buddy who couldn't go. (I also had a TRS-80 Model 1 in my checked luggage, but that's a different tale...)

        • Re:What a waste! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @09:29PM (#39767219)

          That being the case, you probably also remember this: the whole photo ID and only passengers allowed at the gate stuff started in (over) reaction to the TWA 800 terrorist incident.

          Oh, wait: later, the government decided it wasn't a terrorist incident. So if it wasn't a terrorist incident then what was the reactiion for and why wasn't it done away with?

          Well, of course it doesn't do crap to enhance security. It pacifies the infantile minds who equate violations of liberty with actually being safe, of course, but the real effect was to kill the secondary market for airline tickets and enhance corporate profits.

          Almost like somebody was waiting for an excuse to do that or something...kind of like the impossibly large Patriot Act which was allegedly written after 9/11 instead of sitting around waiting for a different excuse.

          • am I missing something? Didn't they find the untouched passport of one of the 9/11 "terrorists" a block over? Tells me that having ID does not make one not a terrorist.

            • by Joce640k (829181)

              Yep. The TSA's job is safety (hence the 'S') and there's no indication this guy was trying to do anything unsafe, he's just an asshole trying to buck the ticketing system.

              At the very least I assume that suicide bombers will have valid ID and a boarding pass that matches it.

          • by dave420 (699308)

            Not really - in Britain (which dealt with terrorism from the IRA), it was routine to make sure baggage travelled on planes with the people who owned it, so bombs would take out the bomber. That was great for stopping those who didn't want to die when planting a bomb. Ensuring who is who when loading a plane is basic information that is quite reasonable for someone in charge to have.

            Hint: Not all terrorism happened in the US, and the US does learn from other countries.

      • by chrismcb (983081)

        Glad they are closing this loophole, it is one of the very few things the TSA has done or is doing that makes sense.

        You are being sarcastic, right?

    • One person did this, and it seems he was caught both times. Wouldn't that mean that the original practices were working?

      I don't know. How would we know if somebody did it and wasn't caught?

    • by dave420 (699308)
      One person that we know of. That's the point.
  • loopholes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. X (17716) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @06:52PM (#39766549)
    So it's taken the TSA over 10 years after 9/11 to attempt to close this loophole? Good work guys!
    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:05PM (#39766609)
      "We are already scanning the luggage, irradiating the passengers and groping their balls... What else can we do?"

      "Check to see if they are actually on a flight?"
    • by schwit1 (797399)

      This was not a loophole. This was shear laziness or stupidity.

      Ensuring that each piece of baggage matched a passenger was a requirement after the Lockerbie bombing. And it's just now that the TSA figures out it's a good idea to match boarding passes to passengers IDs?

    • This check is a complete non-sequitor to 9/11.

      The 9/11 hijackers had valid IDs and valid boarding passes for the flights they were on. They went through without any trouble that morning, and they would go right through with the inconvenience of taking off their shoes and an option of the ball-grope or dose of X-rays today.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @06:57PM (#39766563)

    There have been stories of people being denied ability to fly because their ticket didn't EXACTLY match their ID. I'm sure this will result in more of the same.
    (note to Westerners: in many many parts of the world, people have names with no exact relationship to how it is put on official documents... some people also have two birthdays (one is based on the moon, one is based on the calendar))

    Strict unbending rules are the bane of society.

    • by Kneo24 (688412)
      People from all over the world seem to play nicely with putting their names on documents exactly the same way every time and having birthdays that match up. I'm sorry, but if you can't play along with the rest of the world and have all of your legal documents use the same birthday, you can rightly fuck off. People will do anything to be different. Really, it's quite simple to follow this rule. What does your ID say? Use that information. Problem solved.
      • by isilrion (814117) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:56PM (#39767081)

        Really, it's quite simple to follow this rule. What does your ID say? Use that information. Problem solved.

        Unfortunately, it isn't nearly that easy. I have two first names, and two last names. My official document lists the four words (I've seen people with more than 4). A some airline systems are just not prepared to deal with those very long strings with spaces in the middle. Checking in with Air France, for instance, is a pain, because even if I go buy my ticket with my passport in hand to show them the exact spelling, they still truncate my names, my last names, and remove the spaces. So I've easily had to spend 30 mins at the check in counter while they try to find what combination they used. Needless to say, I avoid Air France, but other airlines aren't much better: at least Air Canada and WestJet insist on deleting the spaces from my name(s). I can tell you that I have never flown with a ticket that shows my exact name (the one in my passport and the one I give when buying it).

        So no, its not nearly as easy as just using the same name everywhere... most of the places I visit wont let me use my full name! (But thank you implying that it's my fault)

        • by virtigex (323685)
          You, my friend, are clearly a terrorist.
        • by dave420 (699308)
          I have 4 names, and I've never once had a problem with it. Even when some airlines process my name as simply 2 names, with my last 3 names concatenated into some super-surname. No big problem at all - never denied entry, crossed all borders without hassle, and never missed a flight.
      • by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:36PM (#39767493)

        What does your ID say? Use that information.

        Well, let's see. My native ID says: _a_string_that_can't_be_rendered_by_slashdot_ which is my name.

        My driving license and my old passport say "Alexey". My new passport and my US visa say "Aleksei". Both are valid transliterations of my name (world doesn't use only English, you know) from the point of view of Russian laws (US consulate that issued my visa also agrees). Yet I've had a problem with a TSA officer and almost missed my flight.

        Oh, I also have a patronymic which was mistaken for my last name a couple of times.

        • Ad to this, I had my name also spelled in French. So in my passport it was Serguei, Sergey, and Sergei. Try getting on the plane with that.
  • Spotted at SEA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 4pins (858270) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @06:57PM (#39766567) Homepage

    I took four flights over the last week. Monday I left SEA and I did not notice anything new. Friday I flew out of SEA again and the security guard took my boarding pass, scanned it, my name came up on the readout, he then did the usual comparisons against my ID and let me through. I gestured at the scanner and said, "That is not a trick I have seen before," there was glint in his eye and a small smile but no audible reply.

    If you are still traveling on other peoples return flights (when the buy a round trip), it is time to stop!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just buy and refund another ticket in your own name, or get a lounge pass. Go through security with that. Then fly on the other one.

      Checking names has nothing to do with limiting the introduction of weapons, incendiaries or explosives. It's payoff, in the form of revenue protection, to prevent the airlines from complaining about the TSA.

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      If you are still traveling on other peoples return flights (when the buy a round trip), it is time to stop!

      Again. WHY?

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @06:57PM (#39766569)

    I recent inherited $30 million dollars US that I must hide from local tax collector. If you would kindly allow me to fly for free, I will deposit the sum of $2 million dollars in you account. Pleese allow my assistant to board your flight.

    Thanks you,

    Mujibar Undooku
    Prime Minister of Financial Affairs, Nigeria

    • Some of you have no clue what racism is. Most Nigerian fishing emails I got were written by someone with poor English skills.

    • by NetNed (955141)
      Oh Oh!!! I want to help!! Can I bring a cashiers check in to a US border country anywhere to help??? That's the only way I can think of helping
    • by guttentag (313541)
      Mitt Romney, is that you?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:07PM (#39766615)

    You know, they could just *enforce the existing rules* instead of implementing new ones. Note the boarding was with an "invalid ID".

    And boxcutters were not allowed in carryon luggage planes on September 10th, 2001, either.

    AC

  • Waitaminute... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enry (630) <enryNO@SPAMwayga.net> on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:14PM (#39766641) Journal

    Weren't those called eyeballs on the first TSA person you run into? They wave the magic UV wand over your ID to make sure it's valid, then study the boarding pass, then the ID again, then look at you, scribble something on it, and then tell you to have a nice day.

    • But they have no way to check it's a real boarding pass. It could be one you scanned from a month ago, changed the dates on and picked a flight to match one that is taking off that day, and otherwise tweaked to look legit to get passed the gates. Human eyeballs don't have the ability to read barcodes or QR codes and check them against the database of registered flyers for all airlines for that date. You still won't be able to sneak a bomb past security, but you can probably sneak onboard a plane without
      • by El Torico (732160)
        So, sneaking aboard a flight without paying for a ticket is now terrorism? What next, sneaking into a movie theater?
  • NICE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:14PM (#39766643) Homepage

    Apparently you can and will get groped or cavity-searched for no reason, or denied clearance because your baby is on the no-fly list, but they do let you fly with a fake ID and invalid boarding pass. That's very sensible.

  • I mean, why they restrain themselves to photo ID only?

    I bet they can do better... if only your ID will include everything those scanners can see! Even better... that groping, you know?... can be simplified by a simple visual inspection (to be replaced by automatic body recognition), as long as you take off more than your shoes.

    • mind's eye conjured up the scene in Family Guy:

      "Penis recognition validated. Welcome, Mr. President."
      "Hey, Quagmire, how'd you know that would work?"
      "I didn't. I jut shoved it in and broke it."

  • WTF, TSA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Peter Simpson (112887) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:34PM (#39766729)
    First, we all have to show picture ID and cryptically marked boarding passes
    Next, we have to partially disrobe and empty our pockets
    Then, we have to pass through a metal detector and a high-cost, dubiously useful (and even more dubiously safe) perv-scanner

    You mean to tell me that TSA hasn't figured out, in cooperation with the airlines, of course, how to put some kind of cryptologic authenticator on boarding passes?
    Perhaps they should have used some of the money they spent on perv-scanners to buy a computer, a bar code scanner and a crypto-hash generator for the boarding passes -- like they have at the gate when you board the airplane. They could scan the new high tech RealID[tm] licenses they forced on us, too, because you know they put an authenticator hash in them (right?)

    Bruce Schneier hit it on the nose (and now, former TSA head Kip Hawley seems to agree: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577335783535660546.html [wsj.com]) -- TSA is broken.
  • ID is irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by island_earth (468577) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:37PM (#39766743)

    There doesn't seem to be any valid security reason to show ID at all before flying, much less proving that your ID and boarding pass match, any more than there is when you take a bus, ferry, subway, or train.

    If TSA (or whoever would be there if we abolished this waste of an organization) is doing its job, explosives should be stopped using existing technology (x-rays, random chemical swabs, not to mention, you know, looking for nervous behavior or the wrong answers to a few basic security questions which has always worked for El-Al), and any other weapons are limited in their usefulness now that cockpit doors are secured and passengers know that "shut up and behave" no longer results in a safe landing in Cuba.

    ID, matching or otherwise, doesn't matter. Most (all?) of the 9/11 hijackers had valid ID. The No-Fly list is a bloated joke. The only thing ID does is ensure that the airlines control the tickets more carefully.

    Made-up crisis averted by more expensive technology that lines the pockets of some lobbyist. Woot!

    • There doesn't seem to be any valid security reason to show ID at all before flying, much less proving that your ID and boarding pass match, any more than there is when you take a bus, ferry, subway, or train.

      Exactly right - This isn't Soviet Russia. I can see needing to present a passport at check-in for International flights, but for domestic flights? No ID should be required to fly within the USA (or my country, Canada).

  • Resources misspent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grayhand (2610049) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:52PM (#39766799)
    They waste a fortune on scanners that can't see a gun if you strap it to your side then they screw up on the basics. It's like laws, they insist they need new laws when they don't enforce the existing ones. They need to actually enforce the existing rules before they add more bureaucracy that simply adds more holes to exploit.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Without an organisation like the TSA the rest of the world is practicing that for decades. Your name is checked against an ID when checking in. Before entering the departure area your ID is checked again against the boarding pass and your face, takes split seconds only. When going international that happens again at immigration and finally when you try to board the boarding pass is checked against the loading list and your ID. Nothing causes any queues.
    Kind of strange that this practice seems to be new in t

  • by Nkwe (604125) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @09:49PM (#39767301)
    I don't get why it matters who I am. As long as I am not carrying anything that is dangerous to the plane and its passengers, what difference does it make?
    • by wrook (134116) on Monday April 23, 2012 @03:28AM (#39768491) Homepage

      Ah, you see, they can't really verify that you aren't carrying anything dangerous. So, instead, they try to keep people with a long history of suicide bombings off the plane. I mean, if they've blown themselves up on 4 of their last 5 trips, there's a good chance that they will do it again.

      It's not so hard to understand. You just have to start thinking like the TSA.

  • by neo8750 (566137) <zepskiNO@SPAMzepski.net> on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:01PM (#39767351) Homepage
    I've gotten through security at chicago o'hara airport using a boarding pass for my connecting flight that didnt say chicago anywhere on it. I didnt notice till i was through security.
  • by jcr (53032)

    Terrorists don't have to bother getting on a plane anymore, and in fact they never did. The biggest, easiest target for mayhem is the crowd of people wrapped up in serpentine lines waiting to get to the obedience ritual machines.

    The money spend on the entire TSA is a total waste. Put a tenth of that into bribing informants the way that Hoover did to the KKK, and what's left of Al-Queda will disintegrate.

    -jcr

    • The TSA doesn't exist to protect the people waiting in lines. It exists to protect the buildings of financial and governmental institutions.

  • by aepervius (535155) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:52AM (#39768381)
    I used to work in the airline industry as Check in developper and let me tell you this : the only reason there is boarding pass is because after they check you in, you are not at the gate but far away. So it is only an itnermediate doc given to the pax to be identified at the gate before being allowed to board. A Fake boarding pass will *ONLY* allow you to go from the check in and to the gate. That's it. It will not under any circumstance allow anybody to board a plane. All BP system I know of check the BN number against the name on the PNL (Pax name list) and BP have either the RFC (17 something) 2D bar code, single 1D bar code or a magnetic stripe to contain more info than a mere number. And those info are checked against the PNL while the machine register you board the plane. Sure I don't know them all, and there could be crappy one not checking anything in the US but I doubt it. It is really a basic check. So in essence a fake BP will only allow you to go the gates, and that's it.
  • OK, I've not flown to the US in a few years.

    But every boarding pass I've seen lately has a barcode on it which identifies the passenger and their flight. How difficult would it be to store the date and time of their flight and have the scanner flash up a big red error message if they try using a boarding pass for:

      - A flight that's already left.
      - A flight that's not leaving today.

    • by profplump (309017)

      About 47 times as difficult as it is to Google "barcode generator" and print out a new piece of paper with a new flight number barcode on it.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        You mean the barcode isn't just a serial number for use with a database lookup?!

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Boarding pass contains that info printed, and your ticket number or so as bar code for machine checks.

        Good luck guessing someone else's ticket number, and boarding a flight in their place.

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