The public has been made aware of RFID or Radio Frequency ID technologies commissioned for national identity documents: passports, Enhanced Drivers Licenses, TWIC cards, Speed Passes and even Tribal Identity Cards. Unfortunately, RFID as a government sanctioned technology earned a big brother reputation from its ability to track a persons current location, storing and conveying private information from 20 - 30 feet away.
Chris Paget, a technology penetration consultant, found the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant RFIDs especially troublesome. He began doing live demonstrations exposing identity security flaws RFIDs had on average cardholders. Then Chris Paget and his business partner Tim Mullen formed H4RDW4RE.com. They have made it their business to demonstrate exactly how insecure Western Hemisphere compliant RFID chips can be for people to possess in identity cards, smart-contactless cards and credit cards.
In this interview they explain the benefits of technology penetration testing or "ethical hacking" for investors and adopters. One of Paget's demonstrations went viral via YouTube in February, blowing apart any faint notion of RFID's billing as a secure identity technology. Equipped with only a $250 signal reader and a conventional laptop, Paget cloned or copied private passport information from a parked car in San Francisco.
H4RDW4RE recently featured high profile demonstrations at 2009 conventions like DefCon & Black Hat. They continue to invent solutions for existing security problems and risks ordinary people face from identity technologies present in U.S. passports and other public cards.