A grad student in Indiana has created a boarding pass generator for NWA flights.
A 24-year-old computer security student working on his doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington has created a Web site that allows anyone with an Internet connection and a printer to create and print fake boarding passes for Northwest Airlines flights.
By entering your name and plugging in information about the flight — flight number, gate, seat number, departing city, destination, departure, and arrival times and class — the site generates a boarding pass the program's creator says will get you past security checkpoints, even without ID.
Christopher Soghoian, creator of "The Northwest Airlines Boarding Pass Generator," knew he would be opening up a can of worms by writing the program and creating the site, but says it's the only way to show people how deeply flawed airport and airline security are.
I completely disagree: everyone knows that the superficial airport security theater—badly designed as it is, and as dependent as it is on dubious information and proof of identity—is, at best, purely for show. Many serious security thinkers have made the point, over and over again, that the way we've designed security at our airports doesn't make us more secure at all. This "research" serves no one, and it doesn't advance our understanding of the problem one bit.
On the other hand, the publicity generated by this goof will probably cause a general security freak out among bureaucrats and politicos. The nearly-inevitable result will be yet more meaningless security ritual the next time you fly.