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Feds Nab Counterfeit Boarding Pass Mastermind & Shuts Down Site

Christopher Soghoian, a doctoral student aged 24 years, at the Indiana University Bloomington, has developed a Counterfeit Boarding Card Making site, enabling a person to issue counterfeit Northwest Airlines boarding cards: with any name, date, airport, or flight through a computer, capable of circumventing security.

People can transfer a replica of the code to operate on his or her computer. The small HTML and Java parts are contained in it that don't need an Internet server and can be operated locally or mounted on any site.

The feds seized his computer and other possessions following the appeal for his apprehension by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass,gave his arrest orders. Feds initially asked him to dismantle his website which after visiting the net he discovered to have been already taken off.

Previously, counterfeiting a boarding card was tough. It involved a particular paper and device. But with Alaska Airlines beginning the fad in 1999, nearly all airlines now permit you to print your boarding card through your PC and carry it to the airport. This application was briefly stopped following 9/11, but was soon restored due to insistence from the airlines. Anyone printing the boarding cards at home could head for airport security, cutting down on a number of airline agents.

Airline sites create boarding cards in form of images, so that anybody with slight proficiency can change them into software like Photoshop. What Soghoian's site did was to computerize the procedure with a uniform airline's boarding cards.

Soghoian maintains that he wished-to reveal the susceptibility. He held that he was impelled to create the website as he wished to prove to laypersons how simple it was to create a counterfeit boarding card.

While no accusations have been lodged so far, a FBI representative, special agent Wendy Osborn affirmed that the bureau was working at an investigation in cooperation with the Transportation Security Administration, on Soghoian. The trouble is genuine, and the Department of Homeland Security and TSA have the choice of patching the security or discarding the system.

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

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