Published in News

Naked airport security pictures on the web

by on07 January 2010


It could happen

It is
only a matter of time before hackers get their paws on the high tech scans of naked people from airport security and stick them on the world wide wibble.

The latest scans which effectively show people naked have been leaping over many privacy hurdles to get adopted, but according to AP protection from technological intrusions have not been looked at yet. So far privacy groups have looked at the security around the machines themselves, but so far have not been that interested in the computers that control the x-ray machines.

Ty Miller, chief technology officer of Pure Hacking, which tests the security of websites and online systems told AP that from the attackers' perspective the computer that controls the machine is a softer target.

"The way to hack in and get access to images would be by accessing the computers controlling them. There's someone sitting there at a computer hitting 'enter' as people go through [to be scanned], and it's possible that that computer might have some sort of vulnerability, just as any desktop might," he said.

Hackers finding any computer weakness would have access to any data and naked airport scans could be on the web in a few minutes.

"Airport authorities say scanned images will not be stored and all machines are delivered to airports with [save] functions disabled," says the US Transport Security Administration.

However if a controlling computer is comprised this will not be enough. A hacker who installs a trojan onto the machine could capture a video of what the operator is looking at, and record it. Any hacker attacks would rely on the x-ray machine being plugged into the airport's computer network, and so connected to the outside world. To make matters worse the x-ray machines used the same radio frequency as wifi. This meant a hacker could use a wifi-enabled PC to hack into the machines and access scanned images.

Although this is tricky to decode it could mean that your naked jetlagged snaps could be in the public domain in all their flabby goodness. [speak for yourself. Ed]
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