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Oh no! All 7 TSA master keys have been cracked!

The TSA is busy telling folks whether or not they can bring things like mummified heads on airplanes. Meanwhile, people are 3D printing complete sets of their master keys.

The good news is that these are keys to luggage locks we’re talking about. Most of them are little more than glorified paperclips and they’re really only doing a job that a zip tie can do just as well: keeping the zippers on your luggage from coming apart and spilling the contents of your bags all over the place.

They weren’t ever going to keep anyone who really wanted to from getting into your bags. Luggage locks can be easily dispatched with a pair of side cutters — or the zippers can, which renders the locks useless anyway.

Still, if you want a non-desctructive way to pop the locks, now you can 3D print a fully functional set of the TSA master keys. All but one of the keys had been made available previously, but this week the final one was “cracked” by a group of security experts. You can now grab all the files you need to create your own over on GitHub.

How did they pull it off? It all started last year when the Washington Post published a nice, clear photo of all seven keys. Enterprising DIY types who saw the image were naturally curious… and of course started drafting up and printing keys to see if they could successfully open TSA-approved locks. Which they did.

The seventh key required quite a bit more tinkering, but they ultimately figured it out by purchasing locks and analyzing their inner workings.

While this doesn’t pose a security risk, it does beautifully illustrate just how stupid backdoors are… unless the TSA’s master plan all along was for all of us to have a complete set of keys just in case we lost ours some day. In which case… we should probably thank them?

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