Feeds

German gov pooh-poohs biometric ID card hack

Nicht ein biggie

The essential guide to IT transformation

German hackers successfully used off-the-shelf kit to extract personal data from the federal government's supposedly secure ID cards, but the government has downplayed the significance of the attack.

The biometric ID cards store a scan of a user's fingerprints along with a six-digit PIN that can be used to digitally sign official forms. Hackers from the Chaos Computer Club, however, were able to use home scanners that work with the cards to extract personal information including a fingerprint scan and the six-digit PIN from RFID the chip embedded in the cards.

The hack was demonstrated on the Plusminus show on German TV channel ARD. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, interviewed on the show, said there was no reason to alter the technology or postpone a roll-out of the cards, which are due to be introduced nationally from November.

Security experts from the the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) were similarly sanguine about the hack. Jens Bender, a personal identification expert at the BSI, said the card and integrated PIN number offered "significant security improvement compared to today's standard process of user name and password", English language German news site The Local reports. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.