Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Electronic boarding card issues rear their head again?

There's an interesting story in this morning, Daily Mail regarding a rather unfortunate "e-boarding card" in a picture on the front cover of an internal BA magazine.

It's interesting because it raises a rather reminiscent problem that was highlighted some time ago about electronic boarding cards. Back in 2006, I blogged about a Brit in the US who had found a flaw in Northwest Airline's e-boarding card system.

A PhD security student who exposed how easy it was to bypass airline security has had part of his website taken down by the FBI.

He was arrested and questioned by the FBI after he highlighted just how easy it was to fake a boarding card and thus get yourself through airport security and "air side" in an airport.

The idea of a boarding pass on a phone sounds great, but there are genuine security concerns about a system that is open to exploitation when it comes to accessing secure areas.

Most Important (and funny) Bit

Why is the seat number the same on the two year old fake boarding card as the one on the magazine advert? And the date, and the boarding gate. Can anyone say photoshop? Has the Mail been had perchance by a stolen image of a fake NW Airlines boarding card being used in a BA sponsored advert. The frequent flyer reference is even prefixed with NW.... hmmmmmm.

You've got to laugh I guess

Update: Incidentally, I spotted this news stories on a Tweet by Tim Ireland who was banging on about how the general idea of the boarding card was an "absurd fantasy". Of course, it's not a fantasy at all and is well documented across the Internet and in the press after I highlighted it.

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