Feeds

Dutch boffins clone Oyster card

And DDoS a ticket barrier

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Researchers of Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands managed to crack and clone London's Oyster travel card. They were able to take free rides on the Underground and even perpetrated a DDoS attack on a Tube gate.

Researchers Wouter Teepe and Bart Jacobs used a regular laptop to put credit back on their Oyster card. They plan to publish their research in October. Wouter Teepe promised they will not release software to manipulate the cards.

The Oyster Card is based on the Mifare chip of Philips spinoff NXP semiconductors. About ten million Mifare smartcards are sold in Britain each year, some of which provide access to public buildings or cashless payment systems for transport systems and colleges.

However, according to Transport for London Londoners can have total confidence in the security of their Oyster cards. "We run daily tests for cloned or fraudulent cards and any found would be stopped within 24 hours of being discovered. Therefore the most anyone could gain from a rogue card is one day's travel."

In a later statement TfL added it was not a hack of the Oyster system, but a single instance of a card being manipulated.

Earlier this year the researchers cloned the new Dutch Mifare travel card. As a result, the introduction of the €1bn transport payment system in the Netherlands has now been postponed. They also managed to clone a swipe access card to a public building in the Netherlands. According to some reports, the Dutch government immediately posted armed guards outside all its buildings and now plans to spend millions of euros upgrading its system.

According to Jacobs, the biggest vulnerability stems from the fact that the Mifare chip was developed in the 90s, when there was little computing power and no strong encryption on those chips.

Dutch charity NLnet Foundation this week annouced it will give €150,000 to Radboud University to launch a open-source smart card software project which will run through 2010. The initiative is funded by private charity money to ensure that “there are technical guarantees for maintaining the privacy of passengers”. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.