Sunday, July 16, 2006

U.S. to Issue RFID Passports Despite Warnings

Despite the concerns of a lot of security experts, the U.S. State Department will begin issuing passports using RFID technology in August.

In an article by, here is what these security experts are saying:

Kidnappers, identity thieves and terrorists could all conceivably commit "contactless" crimes against victims who wouldn't know they've been violated until after the fact.

"The basic problem with RFID is surreptitious access to ID," said Bruce Schneier security technologist, author and chief technology officer of Counterpane Internet Security, a technology security consultancy. "The odds are zero that RFID passport technology won't be hackable."

For a link to the full story: click here.

And if we think "hackers" haven't already started "cracking" this technology, Wired Magazine recently wrote an expose on "The RFID Hacking Underground," which details how it's already being done. In the story, a hacker steals the details off an "access" card and gains entry into a (supposedly) secure building.

Taking too much of the "human element" out of security is dangerous. The "bad and the ugly" have proven this, time after time.

Quite frankly - on a personal level - this technology scares me. Here are some previous posts, I've written on RFID:

RFID, How Effective for the Long Term and What is the Cost?

RFID, A Necessary Evil; or an Invasion of Privacy?

RFID, Abuse in the Private Sector?

State Department is Taking Another Look at RFID

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