RFID leakage is hushed up – claim

MOST RFID products — like passports and Oyster cards — leak data like sieves says Brit firm, Peratech.

By Tony Dennis | The scandal broke back in August but those affected — like government agencies and credit card companies — are trying to hush the problem up rather than fix it claims Peratech’s Taysom.

The worst offenders are the latest generation of ‘biometric’ passports, he says. These very easily leak information via RFID scanning. And the victims won’t even notice it is happening.

The information — garnered from airports — would be sufficient to enable a passport to be cloned, he reckons. But in Taysom’s opinion, the solution is easy. Just install an ultra-thin switch using Peratech’s QTC technology [see earlier INQ story].

This would mean that a biometric passport would only give its secrets up when somebody depresses the switch. That would make RFID sniffing extremely difficult.

Taysom argues that the USA is taking the whole RFID issue far more seriously than us Brits because the stakes are higher. On teh other hand they may be better at hushing it up too

Some RFID enabled credit cards have limits of around £250. In the UK, hacking an Oyster travel card would only earn you about three quid a go, so it’s currently not really worth it.

The trouble is that the wheels within the financial industry grind very slowly so Peratech shouldn’t hold its breathe waiting for credit card company execs to come knocking on its door.