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RFID Chips & Biometric Passports

This is a repost of an article that was written about how easy and cheaply a person can hack the information on these RFID passports, that supposedly the US will be using soon
Just passing some RFID information along: I had also read where keeping your ID in a aluminum foil wallet will prevent your ID from being sniffed by someone coming close up next to you with a RFID card-reader and being able to read your personal information.
Talk about ID theft made conveniently easy....here is the article
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RFID Chips & Biometric Passports

Biometric passports used by the UK, US and other countries have been cloned by a German security consultant, raising further doubts over the 415m UK scheme.
Lukas Grunwald, a consultant with DN-Systems, told a Defcon security conference in Las Vegas that the data, stored on RFID chips, could be copied on to blank chips which could then be used in fake passports.

'The whole passport design is totally brain damaged,' Grunwald told wired.com. 'From my point of view all of these RFID passports are a huge waste of money. They're not increasing security at all.'

Grunwald says it took just two weeks to figure out how to clone the passport chip, and cost him $200. He tested the attack on a new European Union German passport, but the method would work on any country's e-passport, since all of them will be adhering to the same ICAO standard.

Authorities say the chip, which is digitally signed by the issuing country, will help them distinguish between official documents and forged ones. Since March, all passports issued in the UK have contained RFID chips with physical identification information.
Although countries have talked about encrypting data that's stored on passport chips, this would require that a complicated infrastructure be built first, so currently the data is not encrypted.

Although he can clone the tag, Grunwald says it's not possible, as far as he can tell, to change data on the chip, such as the name or birth date, without being detected.
The home office said yesterday that the British biometric passport is one of the most secure in the world and that while it might be possible to copy the chip data, it is not possible to modify or manipulate any of the data because the data is digitally signed and wouldn't validate.

The original article is here:  link to www.vnunet.com

~joe

homepage: homepage: http://www.joe-anybody.com

you could likely 09.Aug.2006 20:36

Shaker

fry it. So there you are, passport in hand, yet the chip yields nothing. What happens then?

pop it in a microwave? 10.Aug.2006 16:03

fry it good

There are other ways to disable these chips, but, yes, that would likely get you stopped at the border and stranded somewhere. Or worse.

why don't we *all* 11.Aug.2006 09:03

x

zap 'em. millions of regular folk, standing around shrugging their shoulders. 'must've been that cell phone tower'...