Archive for the category labeled 'Travel'

RFID Passport Hack May Crash Readers

August 1st, 2007

FotoScanner.JPGGerman RFID tinkerer Lukas Grunwald has come up with a way to crash RFID passport scanners. His exploit uses a modified JPEG2000 image to crash the readers, and the consensus is that an exploit isn’t far behind. Wired has the whole story, and there will be further discussion at DefCon this weekend.

The “good” news is that the US is still issuing non-RFID passports to some folks who request an expedited passport. The bad news? Nothing has been done to address US e-voting flaws. If the bedrock of democracy isn’t technologically sound, and if illegal border crossings are tacitly accepted, how much time and effort will be spent to patch potentially faulty passports?

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The Journey of thousands of Miles

June 15th, 2007

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The Journey of thousands of miles starts with 3 hours sitting at your local airport.

I dropped off Legba and fought my way through confusing airport signs and rush hour traffic. Home by 5pm. Hour to go before the flight takes off and I can do some flight tracking.

Legba called and is still sounding in good spirits. He was able to find an outlet and send an email for the travel pages.

From Legba:

“The Flight leaves from Gate 25, but seating there is very full. Sitting at
gate 22…empty, free outlet, perfecto. The “show up early” turned out to
be a lie, probably meant to get me to spend more money at the airport. BA
counter person at baggage check-in said flight would be leaving ~8:15,
boarding 7:30, and I should head for security around 7. The actual
security only took 15 min or so. Appears I passed.

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They have a tiny Borders store here. Got a cheap Kurt Vonnegut paperback.
It won’t brand me as an evildoer (I hope). Once I got past security, I
went to the local sports bar and got the last free table. Sat about 10minutes waiting for service. Ended up offering the other seats to a couple
from Portland, Mike and Donna. Nice folks, huge Suns fans.

They spotted a
Suns player walking by, and Mike got to shake his hand. Mike went to the
bar and got us drinks too. Big draft, not enough to be drunk, but enough
to take the edge off a bit.

Not sure how soon the actual boarding will start. Hopefully before too
terribly long. “

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First class passengers use a different jetway to board

June 12th, 2007

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Do all new US passports have RFID? Maybe not.

June 12th, 2007

passport.jpgIn preparation for my trip, I needed a new passport. Gathered up all the goodies and submitted an expedited request. Despite the reports of horrendous delays, I received my passport in less than two weeks. Even more shocking, my shiny new passport did not bear the dreaded RFID logo on the front cover. The US Government had promised that all passports issued after January 1, 2007 would contain RFID tags. This coincided with the new rule that all Americans traveling to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean must have a passport. So what’s the deal? Are they leaving the RFID logo off? Skipping the RFID entirely for expedited passports? Supply chain problems with the RFID manufacturers?

At least I don’t have to pack a Faraday cage for the trip. Score one for the frugal tourist.

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