CyberTech Rambler

July 29, 2008

Misplaced confidence in technology

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:02 pm

Well, it did not surprise me when it was announced that robbers got away with blank UK passports. It is, and always will be, a matter of time before this happens.

What I take offense is the assurance from the passport service which said  that “… the stolen documents could not be used by thieves because of their hi-tech embedded chip security features.”

The next paragraph on the BBC report already proven that it can be misused as not all misuse require the chip. In these cases, it does not matter how many security features you put on the chip.

Moreover, can anyone really says that the chip cannot be compromised? Just look at the Oyster card in London. The maker tried to censor publication of an exploit. Luckily, the judge in Netherland think otherwise.  In that case, the maker is  lucky that an ethical security research expert found it first. Moreover, it was given ample time to cure the problem. If you ask me, the purpose of pursuing the gag order is the cost of correcting the problem. The maker hopes that by successfully stopping the publication, it need not fix the problem. This is of course, misguided.

Can the passport service guarantee that nobody anywhere already develop an exploit? I don’t think so.

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