Feeds

Government rubbishes ID card hack report

Home Office not running about in a panic at all

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
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.