UVA Grad Student Hacks Smart Card Encryption Code

Nemo - March 14, 2008 05:57PM in Bugs / Virus

A student at the University of Virginia has discovered a way to break the encryption scheme on the RFID chips used in about 2 billion smart cards worldwide. The cards, manufactured by NXP Semiconductors, are used for building security and public transportation fare collection. Based on his research, the student claims it would only take a few seconds, a laptop and a scanner to snag the electronic key to a door lock and produce a duplicate card. Apparently the threat is severe enough that one European government that uses the system has taken to adding armed military guards to doors using this system.