eBay – stocks unbranded smart card protection sleeves

Unbranded, anti-skimming, RFID blocking, credit card and e-passport sleeves – at last there’s a UK supplier!!!

Until very recently it seemed impossible to purchase cheap unbranded paper-based Tyvek RFID sleeves from a UK supplier. BUT now multi-packs have arrived on eBay! (These fit all major UK passport, credit, debit, Oyster, transport and similar sized cards.)

This is a great development and certainly the best option for those on a really tight budget.

www.ebay.co.uk (credit card sleeves)
www.ebay.co.uk (passport sleeves)

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Some useful case studies at RFID Protect

For those of you that are keen to explore some of the  ‘darker’ issues associated with contactless credit, debit, passport, ski-pass and door-entry security systems then the following resources may prove useful.  Published here by kind permission of the author, are eighteen objective case studies (in six folders) that present both sides of the argument for RFID technology.

Download each (600KB PDF) by clicking on the associated images below.

RFID Protect - Case Study Report #1RFID Protect - Case Study Report #2RFID Protect - Case Study Report #3

RFID Protect - Case Study Report #4 RFID Protect - Case Study Report #5 RFID Protect - Case Study Report #6

If you wanted to reproduce these, I suggest making contact with the author/s.

For more information visit: http://www.rfidprotect.co.uk

Finally, if you’re in any doubt as to whether or not RFID skimming is a real threat, then perhaps watch the following video evidence.

Electronic Pickpocket – YouTube Video
(Approx. 4minutes – n.b: opens in a new window.)


US Department of Defense deploys RFID shields to its personnel

US Department of Defense deploys RFID shields to its personnel.

This is an extraordinary article that would appear to suggest that the US military takes the business of ‘skimming’ very seriously, not least in respect of its RFID enabled ID passes; issued to all personnel.  You cannot help but ask the question, “…if contactless technology is 100% bulletproof against unauthorised attack – then why are the US Department of Defense introducing shielding sleeves?”  Go figure!

New Delhi leads the way with RFID vehicle tracking – who’s next?

On Wednesday 27th October, 2010 RFID News broke the following sensational story.

“Government officials in New Delhi will soon make it mandatory for all vehicles to be equipped with RFID cards that will be used to make road toll payments, according to Hindustan Times.  The government accepted the recent proposal and said it will ensure that it is being implemented within 18 months.  Initially it will be used for toll collection on national highways, subsequently it will be used for other purposes also, including toll collection on state highways,” said Kamal Nath, road transport and highways minister. “Commuters can preload whatever amount they want and make the payment when required. Officials have also instructed manufactures that all new vehicles will come with RFID chips installed.”

http://www.rfidnews.org/2010/10/27/rfid-soon-to-be-mandatory-for-all-vehicles-new-delhi?issue=rfidnews_20101028

India is a country that has a clear sense of its own destiny, and one that has always been keen to position itself as a technological innovator.  It used to be the case that Britain transfered its knowledge in the direction of emergent Eastern economies, in return for significant finanicial gain.  Perhaps this article suggests we are at the beginning of a new chapter in the flow of information between countries, since widespread adoption of RFID enabled vehicle tracking in the UK is highly likely in years to come.   Where India is leading on this, we seem likely to follow; which surely begs the question, “…do you want your every movement tracked by the State?  If not, what can be done about this within the scope of our current legislative framework?”

Defend your ski pass from hackers

Ski Pass Security

An RFID secure ski-pass (Image Copyright 2010 http://www.rfidprotect.co.uk)

If you’ve been issued with a new RFID enabled, or ‘contactless’ ski pass then there’s a risk that it may be intercepted, read or skimmed, and without your knowledge. A new generation of ski and lift passes are already being rolled out across US and European resorts, and you may not realise that contained within them is a small passive RFID microchip. This bit of clever kit enables swift access to the slopes, and other services off-piste. Great news!

The not so great news if you don’t want marketers to track your every movement, and transaction, whilst on holiday. Furthermore, it’s well documented that unscrupulous hackers have been able to skim these ‘contactless’ passes using low-cost readers freely available on line. The consequences can be that your personal information and movements can be tracked and exploited for commercial or criminal gain.

  • Keep your personal information safe
  • Shield your data from readers designed to track your movements
  • Have a look about for Ski pass shielding products – there are loads on offer and many reasonably priced

Google in major privacy breach.

Whoops!

Google has finally accepted that it harvested personal data from wireless networks as its fleet of vehicles drove down residential roads taking photographs for the Street View project.  And yet only a few months ago it would have screamed ‘blue murder’ if anyone intimated that this had happened.

Now it transpires that millions of internet users have potentially been affected.   Google’s acknowledgment of guilt is an interesting U-turn from its earlier assertion that no sensitive personal information had been taken.

Google has now confessed that its, “…vehicles had also gather(ed) information about the location of wireless networks, the devices which connect computers to the telecommunications network via radio waves.”

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that, “…Privacy International lodged a complaint with Scotland Yard earlier this year about Google’s Street View activities and officers are still considering whether a crime has been committed.

Google is facing prosecution in France and a class action in the US, with similar lawsuits pending in other countries.”

The full story can be read at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/8083008/Google-spied-on-British-emails-and-computer-passwords.html

Whilst this development does not relate specifically to RFID or contactless technology as such, nonetheless it’s an excellent example of a large multi-national operation initially stating – “guys, what’s the problem – there’s nothing to worry about your wireless internet connection because we’ve ensured that it’s 100% secure” – and then a few months later we arrive at a different place – “…er, you know that technology that we told you was secure, well there’s been a slight issue with it and as a result your email, passwords and other sensitive information are now in the public domain – whoops, sorry about that…”

Therefore it could be reasonably argued that whilst today contactless credit, debit, Oyster, and Olympics 2012 RFID passes are all being sold as 100% safe – tomorrow may bring with it a different view…

Watch this space, and in the meantime can you afford not to protect your biometric details now?