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Border Protection and Customs New Automated Passport Control Kiosks May Be New Target for Cybercriminals

Last week we discussed cybercriminals lurking about the airport, lying in wait, ready to strike the unsuspected users of free airport Wi-Fi. And, this week, with cybercrime fresh in our minds, I introduce to you the Automated Passport Control (APC), a new self-serve kiosk with highly-sophisticated, touch-screen technology created by the Vancouver Airport Authority and the United States Customs and Border Protection.

Using this new kiosk, the goal is to reduce lines and increase efficiency during the border crossing process by allowing travelers to answer all necessary questions via the kiosk. Once completed, a receipt will print and travelers must show the printed receipt, rather than a hand-written card, along with their passport and any other relevant information to the customs agent for processing. Easy enough, right?

Well, apparently Chicago O’Hare International Airport thinks so, because they will be the first airport in the United States to implement APC, hoping to install 32 new kiosks by July 1.

But, I can’t help but wonder about the data security element of the kiosk, based on the smooth criminals that cybercrime artists tend to be, while executives are simply worried about creating a new problem with an influx of travelers lining up to utilize the kiosks and the frustration factor of wait time.

The Chicago Department of Aviation did say, “Travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing, but will also be assured that the safety and security of passengers, employees and visitors remains a top priority.”

The personal safety and security of people was mentioned, however, what about the actual data that is being input into the kiosk?

I mean you do have put your date of birth, passport number, hotel name/destination address, and if you are “carrying currency or monetary instruments over $10,000 U.S. or foreign equivalent” on the form, which to me sounds like personal information.

What’s not to say that a cybercriminal is hacking the APC kiosk and feeding this information to a partner, who will then follow you to your destination and rob you of your “currency or monetary instruments?”

Let’s talk! I welcome your thoughts, comments, opinions and concerns.



Posted by Ginger Hill

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