By Kim Zetter
December 7, 2009
Who needs anonymous sources when the government is perfectly capable of
leaking its own secrets?
Government workers preparing the release of a Transportation Security
Administration manual that details airport screening procedures badly
bungled their redaction of the .pdf file. Result: The full text of a
document considered "sensitive security information" was inadvertently
Anyone who's interested can read about which passengers are more likely
to be targeted for secondary screening, who is exempt from screening,
TSA procedures for screening foreign dignitaries and CIA-escorted
passengers, and extensive instructions for calibrating Siemens
walk-through metal detectors.
The 93-page document also includes sample images of DHS, CIA (see above)
and congressional identification cards, with instructions on what to
look for to verify an authentic pass.
The manual, titled Screening Management Standard Operating Procedure, is
dated May 28, 2008. It contains this warning: "NO PART OF THIS RECORD
MAY BE DISCLOSED TO PERSONS WITHOUT A 'NEED TO KNOW.'"
Notwithstanding that disclaimer, the document appeared on FedBizOpps, a
government clearinghouse that lists federal contracting opportunities
for vendors. It has since been removed from the site, but not before
someone grabbed it and submitted it to the whistleblower site Cryptome,
where the formerly-redacted portions are highlighted in red boxes. The
discovery was first made by a blogger at Wandering Aramean.
Did a friend send you this? From now on, be the
first to find out! Subscribe to InfoSec News