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'Forge-proof' passports can be faked

E-Passports may need a re-think
E-Passports may need a re-think

UK Newspaper The Times has proved that the new 'forgery-proof' RFID passports can be easily faked.

The paper cloned two chips used in passports and placed pictures of Osama Bin Laden and a suicide bomber on the documents.

The passports were then passed as genuine by the passport reader software passed by the UN agency which sets the standards for e-passports.

The tests disprove the claims that 3,000 blank passports stolen last week were useless thanks to the new technology.

Take the fake

The basis of the 'forgery-proof' claim comes from the fact the faked passports would be spotted at border control because the codes used wouldn't match when checked against the international database.

But as less than a quarter of countries using e-passports have signed up to the Public Key Directory (PKD) code system, the system is not fully secure.

"We're not claiming that terrorists are able to do this to all passports today or that they will be able to do it tomorrow," Jeroen van Beek of the University of Amsterdam, who conducted the tests, said.

"But it does raise concerns over security that need to be addressed in a more public and open way."