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RFID tags and passports can be cloned

According to this month’s Black Hat security conference, passports equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags can be cloned.

German researchers demonstrated that any laptop equipped with a $200 RFID reader and an equally inexpensive smart card writer is capable of cloning such passports.

This raises red flags about the security of biometric ePassports, which will reach global status when millions of Americans receive their RFID tag passports this month.

Global security specialist Cybertrust is a likely candidate for the implementation of responsive security measures. The company is best known for its UniCERT (opens in new tab) software, a system that employs public-key cryptography to apply the safeguards used by physical businesses to the electronic world.

The same UniCERT technology may now be used to validate the biometric data on ePassports. Just days ago, The Population Registre Center of Finland announced that it will partner with CyberTrust to achieve the country’s transition to a biometric ePassport system.

Read more about the partnership here (opens in new tab)

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.