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NXP to sue researchers over Mifare chip report

Posted: 11 Jul 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:security aspects  Mifare Classic chip  Oyster card 

According to local reports in the Netherlands, NXP Semiconductors is taking researchers at Radboud University in Nijmegen to court later this week in an attempt to stop them publishing their controversial report on the security aspects of the Mifare Classic chip.

Last month it emerged that the researchers had cracked and cloned an Oyster card that is used by millions every day on London's buses and underground system. Earlier this year the researchers did the same to the Dutch Mifare-based travel card.

The team plans to present details of how this was achieved during Esorics, the European computer security conference being held in October in Spain. The paper is said to contain details not found in a preliminary report that is already available on some websites.

At the time, a spokesman for NXP said, "We are aware that the Dutch researchers have reverse engineered the algorithm and we are taking this issue very seriously. We have informed all of our system integrators and advised them to closely assess their systems. We are talking to the guys at Radboud University and have identified various counter measures."

Last month , Heikki Huomo, general manager of the NFC sector at NXP, told EE Times Europe in an interview that the chip group is about to introduce Mifare Plus, an addition to the company's existing platforms for mobile integration that it has been offering for a decade.

Commenting on the pending court case, NXP spokesperson Martijn van der Linden told Dutch news site Webwereld that publishing the report is 'irresponsible'. NXP was sent a copy of the report for review.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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