Feeds

Dutch government gags Oyster researchers

Don’t kill the messenger

Security for virtualized datacentres

The publication of a scientific paper by Radboud University that discusses design flaws of the MIFARE chip in cards such as the Oyster travelcard may be in jeopardy. Dutch secretary of state Tineke Huizinga has urged the university not to publish any secrets that may lead to abuse.

Last week researchers from Radboud University in Nijmegen revealed they had cracked and cloned London's Oyster travel card. Earlier this year the researchers did the same to the Dutch MIFARE travel card. As a result, the introduction of the €1bn transport payment system in the Netherlands has now been postponed.

The Dutch researchers were planning to publish their scientific paper, appropriately named Dismantling MIFARE Classic, at the European Computer Security Conference Esorics in October, but secretary of state Huizinga has called upon the university to exercise responsibility. Radboud is now declining any media request that specifically addresses the vulnerabilities of the MIFARE chip.

Researcher Bart Jacobs admits that the issue is sensitive, but doesn't believe the publication will threaten present installments of the cards. "A mathematical analysis is not the same thing as writing attack code," Jacobs says in an internal memo. "It requires a lot of expert work to transform the analysis from the Esorics paper into a working device for performing attacks on card installations."

However, he warned that other groups may already have started writing tools and released them on the net.

"Killing the messenger does not solve the problem," Jacobs says. "This paper serves the interest of our society. The problems are real and should be addressed on the basis of sound and well-informed judgment." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.