The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Prototype RFID in Dutch passports cracked 

According to Engadget (which got the story via The Register and Vara (Dutch)), the new (prototype) RFID technology being implemented in Dutch passports has been cracked:

Dutch RFID e-passport cracked -- US next? - Engadget:

"A Dutch television program 'Nieuwslicht' recently worked with local security firm Riscure to successfully crack and decrypt a Dutch-prototype RFID passport. In this case, the data exchange between the RFID reader and passport was intercepted, stored, and then the password was cracked later in just 2 hours on a PC giving full access to the digitized fingerprint, photograph, and all other encrypted and plain text data on the RFID tag -- just perfect for slapping together a cloned passport, eh? The flaw, at least in part, is due to the algorithm used when generating the secret key to protect the data. The key turns out to be predictable given that it is sequentially issued and constructed from the passport expiry date, birth date, passport number, and checksum. But don't kick back in superior isolationism just yet kid. Starting October 2006 the US will issue all new passports using the same ISO 14443 RFID tag and Basic Access Control encryption scheme employed by the Dutch e-passports (and others) and adopted by the ICAO as global standards. It's still not clear at what distance the exchange was intercepted -- while the passive ISO 14443 tag is spec'd with a read distance of only 2-milimeters you'll find claims of reads at several meters. This is important 'cause the greater the read distance in say, the line at airport immigration control, the greater the chance of abuse. Regardless, the Dutch e-passport system is still under development allowing for changes, which makes us wonder, is ours? Wouldn't be the first time we've abandoned RFID passport plans due to technology concerns.

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