TSA Locks Have Been Hacked

The TSA Locks and Keys Have Been Hacked

TSA locks have master keys in which the organization uses to open your luggage. The inherent problem with this design is that it can not only be picked but the master key designs have been hacked and have been put up on the web for download. Now, anyone with a 3D printer or some MacGyver skills can make one of these keys and pick TSA locks with no problem at all. The 3D printing files are available for download here: Github TSA Key Templates.  The good news is that if you lose your combination, you can make one with no problem. However, if a criminal wants to get into your suitcase it sure will be easy if they get a hold of these designs.

The Idea Behind TSA Locks

The idea behind TSA approved locks is to keep you belongings safe and also let the TSA open you luggage when they need to check it. However, they open it with a master key which as all lock pickers know is the fatal flaw in their security protocol. Now that the hack is complete, anyone can download them thus rendering them mostly useless to trained lock pickers. Literally anyone can print out their own master keys of cut them with an X-Acto knife and some plastic which we will show you how to do in a later tutorial on how to pick a TSA lock.

TSA keys hacked picked

Now that you know that your airport luggage locks are completely useless. Let’s start the conversation about the future implications of this breach. The idea that has been floating around the inner circles of government officials and techies like us is the idea of encryption software in TSA locks. Encryption is a hot topic right now. With Apple fighting the US Government’s requests to thwart their own encryption protocols on the iPhone. In this circumstance, the government could use similar encryption technology to What’s App. This way, they provide access to TSA locks instead of using master keys.

What Do We Do Now?

The great thing about encryption is that it keeps your information safe. The government also encrypts their own software so no one steals theirs. Which is why they are looking at software to solve the problem of keeping your belongings safe from theirs but accessible to the TSA. RDIF and NFC chips have been on the table of discussion to replace the TSA master keys and the problems that come along with them.

It’s worth noting that the 3D printing designs for TSA keys have been tested in the video here:

List Of Some Good TSA Locks On The Market

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it was surprisingly effective and worked just like any regular key would. He just used his 3D printer to print the files that we linked to above and ka-pow! That’s all you need to hack a TSA lock. What does this mean for the future of security? The real answer is that no one really knows. We have a pretty good idea that they will be moving away from the master key design after this massive breach. That is, if they are smart. At the same time, you can’t be lulled into a sense of false security by the TSA using digital forms of master locks, as you can find out in our How To Hack A Smart Lock Guide – you will see that these are not such a safe option either. So, if you have a 3D printer or know someone who does – go ahead. Download the templates above and have fun experimenting on your own TSA lock. See if you can open that baby up. Until next time, keep on a pickin’ on.