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Sneaking weapons past body scanners is easier than you think


For a while now, folks have been discussing how Rapiscan backscatter X-ray machines used at various security checks can be easily duped. Since metal shows up as black shapes on the scan, it's quite easy to hide something on one's side, or attached to the inside of clothing, blending in to the captured image's background. A cooperative effort amongst researchers from the University of California at San Diego, University of Michigan and John Hopkins has been looking into possible tricks of their own. The group discovered that teflon tape could be used to conceal a weapon on the spine, malware is capable of faking image captures and wrapping items (like simulated explosives) around the body could make them read as flesh on the scans. A bit of good news is the Rapiscan Secure 1000 model tested by the team was swapped out last year by the TSA in favor of millimeter-wave scanners that provide a less detailed image to security personnel. However, the systems remain in use for government buildings around the US.

[Photo credit: Michael Fein/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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