E-passports successfully hacked
Munich-based chipmaker Infineon announced today that it won a contract from the U.S. government to supply chips for a next-generation electronic passport. The Inquirer summarizes the news, noting that Infineon plans to supply chips for "several million passports" -- and that Washington's goal is that, by the end of the year, all newly issued passports will be electronic. Infineon's passport chips, which function using an RFID signal, contain "an encrypted version of a human's name, date of birth, photo and the validity period of the passport."

The Ministry of Tech blog, which has been following e-passport developments closely, says that "countries such as Germany, Hong Kong, Norway and Sweden are also using Infineon's security chip for their electronic passport systems." That might seem reassuring, but the blog reported earlier in the month that German security consultant Luke Grunwald has successfully hacked the new system.

Says Grunwald: "The whole passport design is totally brain damaged. From my point of view all of these RFID passports are a huge waste of money. They're not increasing security at all."
Posted by Oliver Ryan 11:00 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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