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November 18, 2006

Terrific News

Newfangled European passports meant to deter terrorism and crime may be easily clonable by savvy criminals. Yaay!

But is this really credible? Would criminals or terrorists really go to such lengths? Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge computer laboratory, believes they would. "The point is that once you have extracted the data from the chip you can have a forged passport that contains not just forged physical stuff," he says. "You also have the digital bit-stream so the digital signature of the passport checks out. That makes it possible to travel through borders with it.

"What concerns me is that this demonstrates bad design on the part of the Home Office, and we know that government IT projects have a habit of going terribly wrong. There is a lack of security in what we can see - so what about the 90% of the iceberg in the system that we can't see?

Emphasis mine.
These investigators should be praised for their curiosity, and for identifying these weaknesses. Hopefully in advance of the bad guys (but I wouldn't count on it).
Kind of difficult to keep an eye on suspected terrorists (or their helpers) if they can slip the system altogether.
Hey, Home Office: IT isn't supposed to stand for Identity Theft, m'kay?
Thanks to tipster Man Of Substance, whose wife devours the souls of baby animals. Not to survive on.
Hobby.


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posted by LauraW. at 03:42 PM

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