Feeds

Government rubbishes ID card hack report

Home Office not running about in a panic at all

Top three mobile application threats

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.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
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
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
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.