Judge backs RFID subway thieves

Massachusetts students' gag lifted

A judge has ruled that an academic paper detailing how to ride the Boston subway for free can be aired, despite attempts from the local transit authority to block it.

Three students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology found a way to simulate an RFID ticket, known as a "Charlie Card", with hundreds of free credits on it.

However, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority sued to block the paper being published before the body had had a chance to review the findings first.

Top marks

The students – Zack Anderson, RJ Ryan and Alessandro Chiesa – had said the presentation, for which they received top marks, was not going to reveal the key details that might allow the audience to take advantage of the hacks.

Now the ruling has put the matter to bed, MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas has said he will welcome the chance to sit down with the students and talk about the discovery.

"Now that the court proceedings are behind us, I renew my invitation to the students to sit down with us and discuss their findings," he said.

This case could have an impact on a similar situation with London's Oyster Card system, which has also been subject to hacks by a Dutch university in recent months.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been part of the mobile phone industry from the era of the brick to the tiny device in the pocket... and now watching them grow back up to behemothic proportions once more. He's spent five years dissecting all the top phones in the world as TechRadar's Phones and Tablets Editor, and still can't resist answering the dreaded question - "which new phone should I get?" - with 15 choices.