Assessing the security benefits of a trusted traveler program in the presence of attempted attacker exploitation and compromise
- 189 Downloads
Current aviation security procedures screen all passengers uniformly. Varying the amount of screening individuals receive based on an assessment of their relative risk has the potential to reduce the security burdens on some travelers, while improving security overall. In this paper we examine the security costs and benefits of a trusted traveler program, in which individuals who have been identified as posting less risk than others are allowed to pass through security with reduced security screening. This allows security resources to be shifted from travelers who have been identified as low risk, to the remaining unknown-risk population. However, fears that terrorists may exploit trusted traveler programs have dissuaded adoption of such programs. Our analysis estimates the security performance of a trusted traveler program in the presence of attacker attempts to compromise it. We found that, although these attempts would reduce the maximum potential security benefits of a program, they would not eliminate those benefits in all circumstances.
KeywordsAviation security Adversary behavior Policy robustness Program design Trusted traveler Registered traveler
We gratefully acknowledge the individuals who provided data on the frequent flyer population of a major U.S. airline, which allowed us to estimate the number of individuals that would need to be trusted travelers in order to cover different percentages of the annual traveling population. Due to agreements involved in our access to that data, we cannot identify these individuals or the airline by name, but that does not reduce our gratitude. We also acknowledge individuals involved in government aviation security for the input they provided during the research process. Again, although we do not identify them individually, we recognize the assistance they provided. Within RAND, we acknowledge the advice and assistance provided by Jack Riley, Andrew Morral, Eric Peltz, and Erin-Elizabeth Johnson during the analysis and writing processes. We also acknowledge Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation for assistance in locating data. Any shortcomings are the responsibility of the authors. In addition, the content represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the RAND Corporation or any of its research sponsors.
- British Broadcasting Corporation (no date) 1986: UK cuts links with Syria over bomb plot. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/24/newsid_2478000/2478505.stm. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Brown, DP (2011) $100 bribe to ticket agent allows unknown package to fly on JetBlue. Seattle Post Intelligencer Blog. http://blog.seattlepi.com/airlinereporter/2011/01/17/100-bribe-to-ticket-agent-allows-unknown-package-to-fly-on-jetblue/. Accessed June 7, 2011/
- Chow J, Chiesa J, Dreyer P, Eisman M, Karasik TW, Kvitky J, Lingel S, Ochmanek D, Shirley C (2005) Protecting commercial aviation against the shoulder-fired missile threat. RAND Corporation, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
- Crowley PJ, Ross L (2009) How to make the TSA (and airports) work better. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/04/tsa_risk.html. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Davis PK, Cragin K (eds) (2009) Social science for counterterrorism: putting the pieces together. RAND Corporation, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
- de Vries L (2002) Airport security fails the test: One in four fake weapons not detected at U.S. airports. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/07/01/terror/main513862.shtml. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Department of Homeland Security (2011) Budget-in-brief, fiscal year 2012.Google Scholar
- Drury CG, Ghylin KM, Holness K (2006) Error analysis and threat magnitude for carry-on bag inspection. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 56th Annual Meeting. 1189–1193Google Scholar
- Elias B (2009) Airport passenger screening: background and issues for congress. R40543, congressional research service.Google Scholar
- Foster C, Hamond D, Kaufman M, Lo T, Ojoko-Adams D, Ragan M, Schreck J, Stopp D, Wilson R, Blumstein A (2003) Enhancing aviation security with The SWIFT System (Short Wait Integrated Flight Travel). Working paper. http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/faculty-and-research/research/research-details/index.aspx?rid=135. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Gallup (2010) New airport security measures. http://www.gallup.com. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Ghylin KM, Drury CG, Schwaninger A (2006) Two-component model of security inspection: application and findings. 16th world congress of ergonomics, IEA 2006, Maastricht, The Netherlands, July, 10–14, 2006.Google Scholar
- Government Accountability Office (2002) Aviation security: registered traveler program policy and implementation issues. GAO-03-253, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Government Accountability Office (2007) Transportation security: DHS efforts to eliminate redundant background check investigations. GAO-07-756, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Grabel M (2008) Air marshals: Undercover and under arrest. ProPublica. http://www.propublica.org/article/air-marshals-undercover-and-under-arrest-1113. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Jackson BA, Chalk P, Cragin K, Newsome B, Parachini JV, Rosenau W, Simpson EM, Sisson MW, Temple D (2007) Breaching the fortress wall: understanding terrorist efforts to overcome defensive technologies. RAND Corporation, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
- McLay LA, Jacobson SH, Kobza JE (2008) Making skies safer: Applying analytics to aviation passenger prescreening systems. Analytics 12–17.Google Scholar
- Morral AR, Jackson BA (2009) Understanding the role of deterrence in counterterrorism security. RAND Corporation, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
- Mosk M, Hill A, Fleming T (2010) Gaping holes in airline security: Loaded gun slips past TSA screeners. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/loaded-gun-slips-past-tsa-screeners/story?id=12412458. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- National Research Council (2003) The polygraph and lie detection. National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- National Research Council (2008) Protecting individual privacy in the struggle against terrorists: a framework for program assessment. National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- Office of the Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security (2008) Audit of airport passenger and checked baggage screening performance (Unclassified Summary). OIG-08-25.Google Scholar
- Reddick S (2011) Point: The case for profiling. Int Soc Sci Rev 79(3 & 4):154–156Google Scholar
- Innovative Technology Administration & Bureau of Transportation Statistics (no date) TranStats. http://www.transtats.bts.gov/. Accessed June 7 (2011).
- Smith, Brent (no date) A look at terrorist behavior: How they prepare, where they strike. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/260/terrorist-behavior.htm. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- United States House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cyber Security (2005) The Promise of Registered Traveler: Part I and II. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- United States Sentencing Commission (2004) Measuring recidivism: the criminal history computation of the federal sentencing guidelines. Research series on the recidivism of federal guideline offenders, release 1Google Scholar