Monday, July 13, 2009

RFID Enabled Identity Cards Are Not Safe

I don’t buy into a lot of cyber-scares, but having my vital statistics accessible to anybody who feels like snatching it out of the air is definitely something I’d like to avoid. It’s not a new threat, but it seems that RFID-enhanced IDs are fast becoming the standard instead of a high-tech option. And since the security surrounding them is laughable to any serious hacker, it’s dangerous proposition to mandate them.

This AP story is a good summary of what’s been going on in the chipped ID world over the last couple years. If you’ve gotten a passport recently, or a driver’s license in certain states, chances are you’ve got RFID in there just waiting to beam its information to anyone who’s got $100 in easily-obtainable electronics.

Oh God, what can we do?! Well, it’s against the law to disable the RFID in any government-issued ID, so don’t you go off and put it in a microwave or something. But passports get a lot of use and sometimes accidents happen, like maybe you dropped your luggage on it? Or maybe you dropped a hammer on it, over and over?