[Full-Disclosure] RE: Airport x-ray software creating images of phantom weapons?
Esler, Joel - Contractor
joel.esler at rcert-s.army.mil
Wed Nov 17 21:57:45 GMT 2004
I am reading between the lines here...
"TSA improperly identified a weapon in a fliers bag. Instead of taking
responsibility for the accident/misidentification, TSA is blaming it on
the equipment." Yeah. What he said.
From: full-disclosure-admin at lists.netsys.com
[mailto:full-disclosure-admin at lists.netsys.com] On Behalf Of David D.W.
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 10:35 AM
To: 'Jason Coombs'; full-disclosure at lists.netsys.com;
bugtraq at securityfocus.com
Subject: [Full-Disclosure] RE: Airport x-ray software creating images of
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason Coombs [mailto:jasonc at science.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:09 AM
> To: full-disclosure at lists.netsys.com; bugtraq at securityfocus.com
> Subject: Airport x-ray software creating images of phantom weapons?
> My flight into Midway airport, Chicago, just sat on the
> runway for nearly two hours tonight because of a potential
> security breach in the terminal, described here:
> A Transportation Security Administration representative at
> Midway airport confirmed for me that the suspicious object
> displayed on the computerized x-ray machine may have been a
> phantom image similar to the one in Miami on November 13th:
> Software glitch in security scanner at Miami airport
> 'projected the image of a weapon' that didn't exist
OK, let's stop here for a moment. Before we get to the digitizing of
let's look at something here. According to the story, the man's bag had
image of a grenade in it. Yet, he was able to move away from the
area, sit down at a set of seats _with_ his bag, then move away from
the food courts with a friend all without being stopped, watched,
any other security measures taken regarding him.
During this time, the security forces protecting the airport are
the potential threat, start their sweeps and find the gentleman in the
court. Let me ask a couple questions, having spent many years as a
that bother me to the extreme regarding this situation.
- WHY was this man allowed out of the screening area in the first place?
- WHY was there no security force on either side of the mouth of the
out of the security checkpoint?
- WHY was the security force not immediately alerted to the potential
BEFORE the man left the checkpoint?
- WHY was this man allowed to move to a set of seats _having passed the
security checks_ where this supposed 'ghost image' was seen?
- WHY was this man then allowed to roam freely _within_ the airport to
- WHY did the security forces NOT have a monitoring device or similar
presence watching this man?
Notice nothing of what I have said touches on the electronic
to examine baggage, personnel, or passengers, such as what caused this
ghost image. This is purely monitoring, notification, response, and
management that I'm speaking of. We have numerous holes within the
protocols at this airport that this man slipped through without even
on the original gist of this thread.
Add on the complaints Jason brought up and we have a much larger
in this country than most people suspect. Is it cause for panic? Hardly.
cause for a very serious review and a VERY firm set of response policies
created? Yes, definitely.
Just my 2 cents. :-)
David D.W. Downey
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