The final day of the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas brought some interesting news.
Lukas Grunwald, a security consultant ar German firm DN-Systems demonstrated how RFID chips can be cloned. The process is relatively simple and can clone chips produced to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard.
According to Wired.com, the data inside the RFID (radio frequency identification) chips encapsulated in the E-Passports, is not encrypted and can be easily read by a RFID reader.
Grunwald successfully managed to clone the original RFID chip of its valid passport to a blank chip on a sample passport page. This can mean that with the help of not to expensive and complicated technology someone can fake the RFID chip on a passport and impersonate as someone else.
However, the data contained in the RFID chips can only be copied and not modified because it uses cryptographic hashes for authentication. This means that even if a person successfully clones an E-Passport’s RFID chip to another valid passport, the information on the printed page will not correspond to the data in the RFID chip thus making the forgery useless.