Feeds

Japanese IT glitch leaves foreigners' ID cards incomplete

Issued without signature

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
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 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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.