Friday, January 15, 2010

Post-Underwear-Bomber Airport Security

Post-Underwear-Bomber Airport Security Crypto-Gram Newsletter | January 15, 2010 | by Bruce Schneier - "In the headlong rush to "fix" security after the Underwear Bomber's unsuccessful Christmas Day attack, there's been far too little discussion about what worked and what didn't, and what will and will not make us safer in the future.

The security checkpoints worked. Because we screen for obvious bombs, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab -- or, more precisely, whoever built the bomb -- had to construct a far less reliable bomb than he would have otherwise. Instead of using a timer or a plunger or a reliable detonation mechanism, as would any commercial user of PETN, he had to resort to an ad hoc and much more inefficient homebrew mechanism: one involving a syringe and 20 minutes in the lavatory and we don't know exactly what else. And it didn't work.
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Bruce is one of the leading experts on security, especially in the technology field. His newsletter has some of the best analysis of what is being done right and what is, as described on Attack of the Show, an epic fail. If you would like to read intelligent, rational and realistic explanation of what is really happening out there then this is something you need to read.
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