Feeds

Dutch government gags Oyster researchers

Don’t kill the messenger

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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." ®

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
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

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.
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.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.