Hackers can clone passports too | india | Hindustan Times
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Hackers can clone passports too

india Updated: Aug 07, 2006 01:11 IST
Las Vegas,

No security-code is foolproof. Hackers have access to everything.
High-tech passports touted as “advances in national security” can be spied on with remote-control technology and their radio signals cloned. A conference of computer hackers were shown the  techniques on Sunday.

Radio frequency identification technology — referred to as RFID — used in cash cards and passports and also in security passes by members of Indian Parliament   — could be copied, blocked or imitated, said Melanie Rieback, a privacy researcher at Vrije University in Netherlands.

Rieback demonstrated a device she and her colleagues at Vrije built to hijack the RFID signals that manufacturers have touted as “unreadable by anything other than proprietary scanners”.

“I spend most of my time making RFID industry’s life miserable,” a doctoral researcher said. “I am not anti-RFID. It has the potential to make people’s lives easier, but it needs to be used responsibly.” Rieback and her university compatriots are expected to have a portable version of their device — RFID Guardian — ready in six months but “have no plans to immediately mass-produce them.”  “Hackers” present in the conference room cheered when Rieback announced that the schematics and the computer codes for the device would be made public. RFID tags comprises computer chips wrapped in tiny radio antennae. The chips store financial, identity, or other data that can then be sent to scanners by radio signals.                  Agencies