By Elinor Mills
October 6, 2008
Want to ride the subway for free without having to jump the turnstiles?
Well, as of Monday, you'll be able to do that by making a fake transit
A scientific paper detailing the security flaws in the Mifare Classic
wireless smart card chip used in transit systems around the world is
being published by the Radboud University Nijmegen. And a researcher at
Humboldt University in Berlin has published a full implementation of the
algorithm (PDF) .
"Combining these two pieces of information, attacks can now be
implemented by anyone," RFID researcher Karsten Nohl told CNET News.
"All it takes is a $100 (card) reader and a little software."
Armed with the information in the papers, someone could steal the secret
key from a Mifare Classic-based transit card and create a clone of it.
As seen in a demonstration , data was collected wirelessly by merely
brushing a card reader past someone carrying a card. The data was then
used to create a fresh transit card that permitted free access to the
Subway systems in Amsterdam, Boston, and Beijing, among other cities,
are also susceptible, as are building access control systems in Europe.
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