Tips, News and Advice from Credit Card Assist

Graduate Student Cracks RFID Encryption Code

by on March 6, 2008

I just posted the other day about a security expert that created a program to hack the information contained in RFID-enabled credit cards. Now, a graduate student from the University of Virginia and some hacker buddies are causing additional concern with these RFID chips.

A graduate student from the University and several of his hacker buddies reportedly dismantled and hacked an RFID chip similar to those used in literally millions of credit cards. They identified the specific security algorithm and broke the encryption in a matter of hours.

These RFID chips are found inside all kinds of things, including credit cards, security key cards, car keys, and subway passes. By cracking the encryption code for these RFID chips, a thief could gain ready access to a wide variety of highly sensitive personal and financial information.

The company that makes the chips that were hacked says that the student and his buddies only managed to break part of the algorithm. Maybe it was only a part, but it sure doesn’t seem as if it was too difficult for them to break at least a portion of it. Just how hard will it be for them – or a crook – to crack the entire thing?

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