Feeds

Government rubbishes ID card hack report

Home Office not running about in a panic at all

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Home Office has dismissed an apparently successful attempt to clone and edit the data on a British identity card's microchip.

Adam Laurie, who has previously found similar weaknesses in the microchips on passports, rewrote data taken from a UK Border Agency identity card issued to a foreign student, according to a report in the Daily Mail. Identity cards for UK nationals are expected to use the same technology.

On a cloned card, Laurie edited the chip's data so the student would appear to be eligible for benefits, but also added the message "I am a terrorist - shoot on sight". It took 12 minutes to produce the new chip, although a physical forgery of an identity card would also be required. The article says the chip passed a software check supplied by the International Civil Aviation Organisation for identity documents.

The Home Office has dismissed the report. "This story is rubbish. We are satisfied the personal data on the chip cannot be changed or modified and there is no evidence this has happened," said a spokesperson.

"The identity card includes a number of design and security features that are extremely difficult to replicate. Furthermore, the card readers we will deploy will undertake chip authentication checks that the card produced will not pass. We remain confident that the identity card is one of the most secure of its kind, fully meeting rigorous international standards."

Philippe Martin, a senior analyst at Kable, commented: "It is a serious problem if the chip can be cloned and data edited, giving them entitlement to benefits and services. It may mean that the Home Office having to do more work to make the card more secure, which could imply further public expenditure."

"This shows up the big con. The Home Office doesn't really care about 'ID theft', or it wouldn't be pushing technology that any competent crook can subvert," said Phil Booth, national coordinator of the NO2ID campaign group. "The ID obsessed officials are putting our personal information at risk in their scramble to control it."

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.