I don’t imagine that Chris Paget is the most popular person with the State Department or the proponents of RFID enhanced passports and driver’s licences. Especially since he has proven that with as little as $250 worth of ‘off the shelf’ components and some time driving around you too can become an identity farmer.
The device which Chris built in his spare time operates out of his car and contains everything needed to sniff out and then clone RFID (radio frequency identification tags) tags. In a recent demonstration he drove around for 20 minutes in downtown San Francisco and successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners.
“It’s one thing to say that something can be done, it’s another thing completely to actually do it,” Paget said in explaining why he built the device. “It’s mainly to defeat the argument that you can’t do it in the real world, that there’s no real-world attack here, that it’s all theoretical.”
Source: The Register
Here is the video showing his little excursion
Currently the range of Paget’s device is about 30 feet but he says with a little modification it could read the tags up to a mile away. Apparently the Feds are not too concerned with this as they say they have no plans to overhaul the technology being used. So not only do we have to worry about excessive government intrusion with this new technology but we also have to worry about our identities being stolen.