[LINK] RFID Passports: advertising yourself a bad idea?

Geoffrey Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Sun Jul 16 21:40:29 AEST 2006


This is exactly what is being proposed.

In fact there are two features being incorporated to protect data skimming:

"To prevent skimming and eavesdropping of data, Basic Access Control 
(BAC) is employed.  BAC is similar to a PIN used in ATM or credit card 
transactions.  In the case of the electronic passport, characters from 
the printed machine-readable zone of the passport must be read first in 
order to unlock the chip for reading.  Thus, when an electronic passport 
is presented to an inspector, the inspector must scan the printed lines 
of data in order to be able to read the data on the chip.  To further 
protect against skimming, the U.S. e-passport will include a shielding 
material in the passport cover that will make unauthorized reading of 
the passport very difficult from any appreciable distance as long as the 
passport is closed."

Geoffrey Ramadan B.E.(Elec)
Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Australia (www.adca.com.au)
Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)

Ash Nallawalla wrote:
>> From: rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au [mailto:rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au] 
>> The valid point of this article has been raised on Link 
>> before but it's nice to see it in the wild: even if the RFID 
>> passport is not remotely readable, it might be a bad idea to 
>> travel around the world with a bit of electronics that says 
>> "I am a tourist"...
> Would a passport pouch made with closely spaced wire mesh protect the chip
> from being detected by these antennas-in-briefcases?
> Ash
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