hackers crack new biometric passports

hackers clone e-passportsfrom guardian: Hi-tech biometric passports used by Britain and other countries have been hacked by a computer expert, throwing into doubt fundamental parts of the UK’s £415m scheme to load passports with information such as fingerprints, facial scans and iris patterns.

Speaking at the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas, Lukas Grunwald, a consultant with a German security company, said he had discovered a method for cloning the information stored in the new passports. Data can be transferred onto blank chips, which could then be implanted in fake passports, a flaw which he said undermined the project.

The revelation also casts another shadow over the government’s plan for a national ID card, which would contain much of the same information.

“The whole passport design is totally brain damaged,” Mr Grunwald told Wired.com. “From my point of view all of these [biometric] passports are a huge waste of money – they’re not increasing security at all.” Since March anyone applying for a UK passport has been issued with a biometric version, which contains physical identification information.

flashback: rfid-hacking underground

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