A billion RF smart cards open to hacking

I nearly fell through the floor last night when I heard that the Dutch interior affairs minister has admitted that the MiFare chip technology seen in RF-enabled smart travel cards in the Netherlands - and London plus other places around the world - is open to hacking.

Guusje ter Horst is reported to have revealed that researchers at the Radboud University in Nijmegen have "developed a method by which a large number of Mifare chip-cards is relatively easy to crack and


Ter Horst wrote in a letter to the Dutch Parliament that she was preparing supplemental security measures for some government buildings as a result of the findings.

The card technology is used in about two million travel and identity cards in the Netherlands, and around a billion (that's a lot) around the world.

MiFare's Web site, meanwhile, says its cards are in use by 500 million punters around the world. That's still a lot...