A copy of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) No-Fly List, containing 1.5 million entries, has been leaked online after a Swedish hacker discovered it on an unprotected server.
As first reported by The Daily Dot, the list includes names of potential IRA members, several of Middle Eastern ancestry and recently released Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout – among others.
The hacker, who goes by the name Crimew, shared on his blog that the list “is really a copy of the No Fly list from 2019” and includes airline employee names, addresses, passport numbers, and pilots’ license numbers.
A TSA spokesperson told DailyMail.com that the organization is “aware of a potential cyber security incident” and is gathering questions about the leak to answer sometime soon.
The TSA’s no-fly list, with 1.5 million entries, was accessed online due to server failure
The “no fly” list includes names of known or suspected terrorists who are prohibited from traveling to or within the United States.
The screening program grew out of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and involved airlines comparing their passenger records with federal data to keep dangerous people off planes.
However, the list has since shrunk over the years.
The server is powered by CommuteAir, which is why there are approximately 1,000 employees in the dataset.
Eric Kane, CommuteAir’s director of corporate communications, said there was a `configuration error, which led to server exposure.
“The researcher had access to the files, including an old 2019 copy of the federal no-fly list that included first and last names and birthdates,” Kane said in a statement.
Additionally, through information on the server, the researcher discovered access to a database containing personally identifiable information for CommuteAir employees.
Crimew shared a blog about their discovery, which they made while scrolling through the specialized search engine Shodan, which lets people peruse through servers connected to the Internet.
Out of boredom, the hacker notes, they discovered the TSA’s no-fly list.
“The credentials encrypted there will allow me to access the navblue apis to refuel, cancel and update flights, swap crew members, etc,” the post reads.
News of the leak surfaced on Friday, prompting US officials to consider the hack.
Republican Congressman Dan Bishop shared a tweet: “Besides the fact that the list is a civil liberties nightmare, how was this information so easy to access?” We’ll come for answers.
The list includes names of potential IRA members, several of Middle Eastern ancestry and the recently released Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout (pictured) – among others.
The hacker, who goes by Crimew (pictured), shared on his blog that the list “is really a copy of the no-fly list from 2019”.
The hack follows a computer glitch in the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) system that led to more than 10,000 delays and more than 1,000 cancellations on January 12.
Major airports including JFK, LAX, Miami and Atlanta ran into problems two days after a computer meltdown that experts fear could last into the weekend.
The FAA confirmed on Jan. 20 that a computer glitch caused by a contractor mistakenly deleting files grounded US airspace last week for the first time since 911 — but it didn’t name the culprit.
An initial report showed that “contract personnel inadvertently deleted files while working to correct synchronization between the live primary database and the backup database,” the FAA said.
The investigation is ongoing, but the agency said it has not yet found any evidence linking the incident to malicious intent or a cyberattack.