FBI returns to "Fake Boarding Pass" guy's home, seizes computers

(Story background here). Christopher Soghoian today blogs that the FBI returned to his home last night in his absence with a search warrant, and seized computers and other belongings. The 24-year old computer science student is the creator of a website that generated fake airline boarding passes to illustrate a security flaw which has been documented on the 'net since (at least) 2003. I reached Soghoian by email today, and he declined comment on advice from attorneys.

Snip from his most recent blog entry:

I didn't sleep at home last night. It's fair to say I was rather shaken up.

I came back today, to find the glass on the front door smashed.

Inside, is a rather ransacked home, a search warrant taped to my kitchen table, a total absence of computers – and various other important things. I have no idea what time they actually performed the search, but the warrant was approved at 2AM.

Link to full text of post. Search warrant scans: page 1 (BB mirror), page 2 (BB mirror). (thanks, Jan Pederson, David Molnar, Craig, Catspaw, John Hudgens, and others.)


* Fake boarding pass guy reports he was visited by FBI

* Congressman wants fake boarding pass guy arrested

* Website generates fake boarding passes
* Slate's Andy Bowers on airline security loopholes


A number of people before Soghoian have pointed out the airline security vulnerability his "Fake Boarding Pass Generator" website illustrated. Among them:

* Bruce Schneier (2003): Link

* Sen. Charles Schumer (2005): Link

* Andy Bowers, Slate.com (2005): Link

* Jacob Appelbaum (2005): Link

Reader comment: Kevin says,

I'm pretty sure that you can bank on the fact that the FBI will be going through the IP logs to see everyone that visited that site.

Steve Peterson says,

Here's an article from Twin Cities newspaper with reaction from NWA (Ed. note: this one, not the one from Compton) to the Northwest Airlines Fake Boarding Pass Generator story: Link

* Fake Boarding Pass Generator guy and FBI: what about the law? (10-28-06)