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The Sad State Of Airline Security

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So, as many of you know, the Security Weekly crew will be traveling to Las Vegas in the coming weeks to do our live show. We have some equipment and promotional items to bring and we wanted to be certain that we would make it through security. So, we did some research. What we found on TSA’s Permitted and Prohibited Items List exemplifies how ineffective our airline security measures are, and just how freaking stupid it all is:

  • Be certain to leave those “Shampoos and conditioners” in your checked baggage, but feel free to take your 12″ “Knitting and Crochet Needles”.
  • For all those who suffer from chapped lips leave your “Lip gels such as Carmex or Blistex” but feel free to take your “Screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length)”
  • For those camping be certain not to put “Bug and mosquito sprays and repellents” in your carry-on, but feel free to take your “Cigar Cutters”.
  • Hope you don’t get stuck for too long at the airport because you carry-on needs to be free of “Mouthwash” and “Toothpaste”. Good thing we can still bring that bottle of wine and “Corkscrews”.

Bruce Schneier has some of the best commentary in his blog posting titled “More Than 10 Ways to Avoid the Next 9/11“. In it he writes:

Rather than spending money on airline security, or sports stadium security — measures that require us to guess the plot correctly in order to be effective — we’re better off spending money on measures that are effective regardless of the plot. Intelligence and investigation have kept us safe from terrorism in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

I couldn’t agree more.
For more airline entertainment, check out this article at The Onion.
Paul Asadoorian

Paul Asadoorian

Paul Asadoorian is currently the Principal Security Evangelist for Eclypsium, focused on firmware and supply chain security awareness. Paul’s passion for firmware security extends back many years to the WRT54G hacking days and reverse engineering firmware on IoT devices for fun. Paul and his long-time podcast co-host Larry Pesce co-authored the book “WRTG54G Ultimate Hacking” in 2007, which fueled the firmware hacking fire even more. Paul has worked in technology and information security for over 20 years, holding various security and engineering roles in a lottery company, university, ISP, independent penetration tester, and security product companies such as Tenable. In 2005 Paul founded Security Weekly, a weekly podcast dedicated to hacking and information security. In 2020 Security Weekly was acquired by the Cyberrisk Alliance. Paul is still the host of one of the longest-running security podcasts, Paul’s Security Weekly, he enjoys coding in Python & telling everyone he uses Linux.

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