Red Tory is already on the case of the sinister incursion of RFID chip technology into our lives. I recently received chipped replacement cards for my two Visa accounts and I am none too pleased. The ever reliable boingboing is on the case.
These devious little people-tracking devices are being shipped out with the notion that they are increasing both your security and your convenience. Of course the security of something that is passively broadcasting your data is instantly suspect and as the video above shows, that fabulous security is a lie. The hacking has begun, as two Tel Aviv engineering students showed in a paper published a couple of years ago.
Two electrical engineering students from Tel Aviv University have written a paper to be presented at Usenix called "How to Build a Low-Cost, Extended-Range RFID Skimmer." It does pretty much what it says on the tin: shows you how shockingly insecure the RFIDs in your office key-fob, subway-card, car-key, etc all are -- easy to "skim," clone, and walk away with. The two achieve skims at more than 25cm, and note that they are "halfway to a full-blown relay attack."
I'll be visiting my bank this week to have a little talk about opting out of their identity theft invitational card program and client tracking system. I'll let you know what the drones have to say. In the mean time, here's yet another useful boingboing article to peruse.
Via the fabulous Sheena in comments Corporate Ass and Spychips, the culprits.
A New York Times technical report detailing the vulnerabilities of these helpful little scam chips.