Passports get tagged

The US State Department is good and ready to issue passports with embedded RFID chips. They’ve been doing it for a few weeks right in my backyard, and now they’ve secured a contract with Infineon Technologies (of Germany) to supply chips going forward.

The RFID chips will, of course, have plenty of information on them – name, date of birth, gender, place of birth, date of passport issuance, passport number and expiration date for starters. Conveniently, there will also be a digital photo of you in storage, because you know it is really much tougher to hold a passport photo up close to someone’s face for recognition purposes (versus having it pop up on a little screen you have to look down at). The Infineon chips are also ready for more in the way of biometrics.

I’d really like to say I feel much safer now, but in reality I’m just pissed. My passport doesn’t expire for another five years, so I can’t fly to Chicago to get one of the non-RFID flavors.


Bruce Schneier says renew your passport now, whether you like it or not!

Insy binsy virus went up the..

Stop. This virus stuff is supposed to be serious.

Some researchers have discovered it is possible to put viruses on RFID tags. Instead of worrying that Walmart knows about your dollar DVD obsession, you can now fret about how all your luggage will wind up in the wrong airport carousel.

For true fear and loathing in 128 bit chunks, read more about these researchers’ “real world” threat examples, which include carrying “hacked” chunk style peanut butter around in your back pocket, and (who could forget) the rogue kitty cat destroying veterinary clinic databases across the globe.

I will never sleep again.