rfid-equipped passports come to US

from betanews: Federal Officials said Monday that United States passports equipped with RFID tags would soon begin to make their way to consumers, with its Colorado Passport Agency being the first to produce the documents.

Although the federal government insists the passports are safe, security researchers say the data on the tags can be compromised.

Researchers at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas earlier this month showed how RFID tags could be read and copied to a smart card, which in turn could be used to make a fake passport. Such issues could pose massive security risks, especially as airport officials are again trying to clamp down on security at international airports.

However, the warnings are not stopping the federal government from going ahead with its plans. The rest of the country’s passport distributing offices will convert to the new system by October of this year, the State Department said. Federal officials are already carrying the new devices under a test program conducted by the agency.

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