Risk
8/13/2009
02:33 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Homeland Security Expands Biometric Security Program

Global Entry program, which speeds international travelers through airport security checks, is expanding to more airports.

The Department of Homeland Security is expanding a pilot project that uses fingerprint scanners and kiosks to speed travelers headed overseas through airport security.

On August 24th, the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program will be available at 13 additional airports in the United States and Puerto Rico, bringing the total number of airports equipped with the technology to 20. The program is also available at airports in the Netherlands through a partnership.

Launched in June 2008, the system makes international travel smoother for people willing to share their biometric data with the government, while lowering costs for Homeland Security by taking focus off of lower-risk travelers. "Expanding this vital program allows us to improve customer service at airports and concentrate our resources on higher-risk travelers," Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

Concerns have been raised about the use of biometric technology as a way of confirming identity, including the possibility of spoofing the system, but a recent Unisys survey of 1,000 Americans found that 70% were comfortable using biometrics.

It might take a while for substantial cost savings to be realized, as the program remains small. About 16,000 people have signed up for Global Entry, and the kiosks have been used 51,000 times.

The program, started by the Customs and Border Protection agency, reduces airport security line wait times by an average of 70%. To participate, U.S. citizens or lawful permanent U.S. residents must submit fingerprint data to the government, pay a $100 fee, undergo a background check, and be interviewed by Customs and Border Protection officers to make sure they aren't security risks. Personal information required to participate include proof of citizenship, place of residence, and travel and job history.

To use the system, travelers walk up to a Global Entry kiosk outside of airport security, slide their passports into a reader, look into a camera, press their fingers to a scanner, and answer customs declaration questions. Fingerprint readers installed this summer use four fingerprints from either hand to verify identity.

There's a zero-tolerance policy for Global Entry; anyone who violates customs laws and regulations during the membership period loses their right to participate.

Global Entry is one of a few biometrics programs underway to facilitate travel. The Transportation Security Agency may soon expand a system used to speed flight crew through airport security.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on leading-edge government IT -- and how the technology involved may end up inside your business. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9676
Published: 2015-02-27
The seg_write_packet function in libavformat/segment.c in ffmpeg 2.1.4 and earlier does not free the correct memory location, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service ("invalid memory handler") and possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted video that triggers a use after free.

CVE-2014-9682
Published: 2015-02-27
The dns-sync module before 0.1.1 for node.js allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the first argument to the resolve API function.

CVE-2015-0655
Published: 2015-02-27
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Unified Web Interaction Manager in Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to a POST request, aka Bug ID CSCus74184.

CVE-2015-0884
Published: 2015-02-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows before 9.10.32(T) and Service Station before 2.2.14 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse application with a name composed of an initial substring of a path that contains a space character.

CVE-2015-0885
Published: 2015-02-27
checkpw 1.02 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a -- (dash dash) in a username.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.