RFID Company Trying to Silence Vulnerabilities

Jul 14, 2008
Nicole A. Ozer

Page Media

ACLU of Northern CA

Dutch Chipmaker NXP, formerly Philips Semiconductors, is taking Dutch Radboud University to court to try to prevent researchers from publishing their scientific paper showing how the RFID chips used in Dutch travel cards can be copied and cloned.

The Bay Area recently released its own RFID-enabled transit card system,Translink. It is important to ensure that security research about these systems is not stifled.

This is not the first time that RFID companies have tried to silence research about security vulnerabilities. ACLU of Northern California came to the aid of researchers last year when HID corporation threatened them with a patent suit.

And the vulnerability of RFID to reading, copying, and cloning is also not new.

Just like the Dutch researchers could brush up next to someone and copy and clone British and Dutch travel cards, the ID cards of Sacramento legislators were similarly copied and cloned.

All it often takes to copy and clone RFID cards that lack adequate technological protections like robust encryption and authentication are some spare parts off the internet and some reason to want to do it- be it for monitoring and tracking, entering without authorization, or identity theft.

That is why the ACLU has been working for many years to ensure that state issued RFID cards have adequate protections to safeguard privacy, personal security, and public safety. Please contact the governor and urge him to sign SB 30 and SB 31.

For more information about RFID and California legislation, please visit our RFID page here.