Airport Security Loophole Gets High-Tech Fix

Encryption makes boarding pass 'impossible' to forge
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 18, 2008 1:05 PM CST
Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff gestures during a news conference to discuss airline passenger screening, Oct. 22, 2008, at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The government is finally closing a well-known loophole that makes it easy for would-be terrorists to board planes, Wired reports. Under current rules, it’s possible to forge a boarding pass at home. But new measures will put the passes, with secure barcodes, on smartphones, making it “well-nigh impossible to make a phony one,” Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff says.

By 2010, the same barcode system will be required on all airlines’ paper passes. The current rules requiring photo ID will remain, however. “For me, it’s a no-brainer to ask for ID to get on a plane,” Chertoff noted. The plan “is pretty good,” said a man who created a website for forging the documents. “It’ll be difficult to make fake passes.”