February 23, 2010
Posted: 08:41 AM ET
In the name of improved security a hacker showed how a biometric passport issued in the name of long-dead rock 'n' roll king Elvis Presley could be cleared through an automated passport scanning system being tested at an international airport.
Using a doctored passport at a self-serve passport machine, the hacker was cleared for travel after just a few seconds and a picture of the King himself appeared on the monitor's display.
Adam Laurie and Jeroen Van Beek, who call themselves "ethical hackers," say the exercise exposed how easy it is to fool a passport scanner with a fraudulent biometric chip.
The Presley test was carried out at Amsterdam's Schipol airport in September 2008 - – by Laurie and Van Beek - to highlight potential security shortcomings.
Passports, and the ability to fake them, are back in the spotlight after the apparent use of false documents during the gang assassination of a Hamas militant in Dubai in January.
Van Beek said: "What we did for that chip is create passport content for Elvis Presley and put it on a chip and sign it with our own key for a non-existent country. And a device that was used to read chips didn't check the country's signatures."
Filed under: Elvis
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