Feeds

Japanese IT glitch leaves foreigners' ID cards incomplete

Issued without signature

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A computer error has been blamed after countless foreign residents in Japan received new ID cards this week without the key addition of an electronic signature designed to prevent counterfeiting.

The Immigration Bureau began issuing the new zairyu cards for the first time on Monday but soon realised that a technical malfunction meant the justice minister’s signature had not been included, according to the Japan Times.

The error still hadn’t been fixed by Tuesday, so immigration offices across the country continued to issue the cards without the signature, after bosses apparently said they would still be valid.

"Counterfeiting the cards is extremely difficult even without the signature," an Immigration Bureau spokeswoman told the paper.

The government must now decide whether it goes to the trouble and expense of issuing replacements for those who have the signature-less cards or if it is happy with the level of security they already provide.

Ironically, the zairyu cards were introduced as part of changes to the country’s strict immigration laws designed to reduce the administrative burden on local authorities by centralising all application and processing.

This week’s IT error is unlikely to create a huge counterfeiting problem in Japan – the cards already include IC chips, for example – but will be an embarrassment for the authorities.

For many, however, the bigger problem is the government’s stubborn refusal to consider loosening immigration controls in order to help an enfeebled economy saddled with a shrinking population. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.