Feeds

Biometrics won't deter passport fraudsters, chief admits

...burglars not afraid of locks, police, dogs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The head of the UK’s passport agency has confirmed that a tightening up of passport standards, including the inclusion of biometric information, will not eliminate sophisticated fraud or terrorism.

Bernard Herdan, chief executive of the UK Passport Service, told the Financial Times that tighter passport standards “will make a huge difference” in combating organized crime and illegal immigration.

But, he said, "when you get into the domain of terrorism and really sophisticated fraud I'm not saying this will stop everything from ever happening... It is less evident that tougher passport standards are going to prevent terrorism.”

Herdan was pretty candid on forgers’ ability to circumvent new security measures, saying the agency would have to keep changing designs and would have to change its technology “more frequently than every ten years” as it races to keep ahead of forgers.

Herdan’s comments come as the US continues to stampede the rest of the world into including biometric information in their passports even as further flaws are revealed in America’s own passport strategy.

The International Herald Tribune reports that a Government Accountability Office investigation has revealed lax oversight by the State Department means determined criminals, illegal immigrants and potential terrorists are able to obtain US passports if they put their mind to it. Undesireables were able to secure US passports because applications were not routinely checked and the government was not cracking down on the supply of dodgy supporting documents the paper said.®

Related stories

Soaring card cost headlines threaten UK ID scheme
US postpones biometric passport plan - again
Your fingerprints are everywhere
US biometric ID request raises ID concern in UK

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.