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November 17, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

New hi-tech passports cracked

Great piece in The Guardian about how Adam Laurie and No2ID's Phil Booth cracked the new hi-tech passport RIFD chips. If you weren't worried about these new passports before, you should be:

Within minutes of applying the three passports to the reader, the information from all of them has been copied and the holders' images appear on the screen of Laurie's laptop. The passports belong to Booth, and to Laurie's son, Max, and my partner, who have all given their permission. Booth is staggered. He has undercut Laurie by finding an RFID reader for £174, which also works. "This is simply not supposed to happen," Booth says. "This could provide a bonanza for counterfeiters because drawing the information from the chip, complete with the digital signature it contains, could result in a passport being passed off as the real article. You could make a perfect clone of the passport."

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