Did you notice that many governments who are very keen of introducing new electronic means of identification have virtually no idea of what they are actually introducing? They claim it will make identification easier, securer and thwart document forgery. But whenever they introduce new means of identification, they are usually ridiculed by security researchers who find ways to bypass the new security system.
The latest "proof" that current electronic verification systems are not as secure as the government wants you to believe, is a video by dutch security researcher Elvis Aaron Presley, sorry Jeroen van Beek, who managed to create a blank working document that was accepted at Amsterdam airport in September 2008. Aaron used credentials from long dead singer Elvis Presley, something that human security would probably have spotted.
The essence of the test was to show that ePassports can be easily forged. This essentially means that anyone with the technical knowledge can alter the picture, name, nationality, DOB and other credentials with ease.
If you need proof that Elvis is still alive then the following video might convince you.. I mean, it is an ePassport, a secure and reliable passport. Ain't it?
Check out the thc epassport page for all the information about the current insecurities.
Update: The page does not seem to be available anymore. The video has been uploaded to YouTube where it is still accessible publicly. The researcher used the forged epassport to pass passport checks on Amsterdam airport. And while that was only done to demonstrate the vulnerability of the system, it could have serious consequences if terrorists would find a way around the system.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.