Feeds

Dutch boffins clone Oyster card

And DDoS a ticket barrier

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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”. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications 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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.