Saturday, August 05, 2006

ID Cards - How easy are they to copy?

According to this article on El. Reg the new US Biometric Passports are so insecure that anyone could easily copy one, with commercially available bits n pieces.

Now our wonderful new ID card is based on exactly the same RFID * technology, except that a passport closes, a card doesn't (the US passport will have a "tin foil" ** cover) so our cards will be remotely readable, and easily copied.

So now we have a very expensive (billions) system, which most people think will work just as well as any other .gov sponsored IT project like the passport office or the CSA, which will be very easy to get round, and will lead to an explosion of identity theft as soon as criminals realise that having your ID card means they can open bank accounts, claim bebefits etc. all in your name.

So do any of my dear readers (both of you) still want an expensive piece of plastic attached to a failing IT system which can easily be copied and will be compulsary by 2010!

* oh and don't call it RFID, the home office doesn't like that name, they call it something else.

** I'm not joking, when the US .gov found out these RFID chips could be read up to 10 metres away they designed a foil mesh into the cover of the passport so it could only be read when the passport was open.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hi, mate - very interesting story, couldn't resist blogging it myself, thanks for the tip.

BTW, great new graphic novel just out from Doug Rushkoff (his first foray into comics) in which he flashes from Biblical scenes to near-future US where those of a certain (ie draftable) age are to be implanted with RFIDs, which, in best SF tradition, are also for monitoring locations at all time and administering shocks, reprogramming behaviour... Its called Testament: Adekah (doug says he is using the Bible as 'open source code', its very good stuff and probably offensive to many!)