Two years ago, a blogger named Jonathan Corbett published a YouTube video that seemed to show a facepalm-worthy vulnerability in the TSA’s Rapiscan full-body X-ray scanners: Because metal detected by the scanners appeared black in the images they created, he claimed that any passenger could hide a weapon on the side of his or her body to render it invisible against the scans’ black background. The TSA dismissed Corbett’s findings, and even called reporters to caution them not to cover his video.
Now a team of security researchers from the University of California at San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins plans to reveal their own results from months of testing that same model of scanner. And not only did they find that Corbett’s weapon-hiding tactic worked; they also found that they could pull off a disturbing list of other possible tricks…
The study itself, published today, notes that, “In an incident widely reported in the press, Jonathan Corbett suggested that firearms hanging off the body might be invisible against the dark background , an attack we confirm and refine in Section 3.1.”
Well, isn’t that nice. 🙂 Off to send a copy to the courts… [Edit: Done!]