Your secrets not so safe with RFID-enabled passports

Darren Murph
D. Murph|10.28.06

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Darren Murph
October 28th, 2006
In this article: passports, rfid, security, threat
Your secrets not so safe with RFID-enabled passports
Ever since these newfangled RFID e-passports hit the mainstream, understandable concerns have frequently surfaced regarding the security (or lack thereof) involved. The Dutch version has already been cracked, Germans can clone theirs, and Ireland's doesn't even have a protective sheath to keep its data safe from unauthorized readers; now it appears that you have one more reason to stick with the ole laminated paper version, as security researchers have released "proof-of-contact code that they say enables an attacker to read the passport number, date of birth, and passport expiration date." The flaw was unveiled by Adam Laurie -- a well-respected watchman of Bluetooth security weaknesses -- in his "Bugtraq" newsletter, but no specifics were reported regarding how evildoers could extract such precious information and subsequently steal your identity. Nevertheless, those RFID-shielding manufacturers must be licking their chops right about now, and rightfully so.
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