Monday, December 29, 2003

System Boundaries 

Goverment Paper on Biometrics

This is an interesting example. The considerations are only those that relate to Biometric Ids. There is no consideration of other impacts. The clear example is that a fingerprint biometric ID system will invalidate fingerprints as a means of prosecuting crime. All it takes is for someone to clearly leave fake prints at a crime scene. End result is that the whole fingerprint system fails, since any defense lawyer will repeatedly bring up the details of fraud.

There are simililar examples with the NHS. The NHS does things that are good for the NHS. The best example of drawing a boundary is flu jabs. The elderly, the frail and those with immune illnesses get the jab. Those that are fit don't. The exception is NHS staff.

The result is this. A flu epidemic is 20% of the population. If that is a week off work, and since the average working year is 200 days, the end result is 0.5% of GDP is lost. Even if these figures are out by 500%, a 0.1% improvement in GDP is major.

If flu jabs don't prevent people taking time off work, the NHS wouldn't give the jabs to their staff.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Using RFID to Prevent Alcohol Abuse...Revise21 

Using RFID to Prevent Alcohol Abuse...Revise21

An article on RFID tags to target individuals to stop them from doing something that is legal. Namely, having a drink. All you do is label them as an acoholic abuser, tag them and then rely on shops, bars, restaurants denying them access.

Talk about 1984

Monday, December 08, 2003

Blocker Tags 

Technology News: RFID Tags and the Question of Personal Privacy

More on blockers and the intresting anology, that RFID tags in your possesion act just like cookies. Well almost just like cookies. They are cookies that other people can read without your knowledge.


RFID tags and denial of Service 

There have been some cases recently of hackers using denial of service as a means of extorting money from companies.

RFID tags will offer a new route, and probably even more effective. Let’s take an example of Marks and Spencer. Let’s say they have a RFID point of sale system. A prospective blackmailer goes and buys a selection of lingerie. They now read the signals from the tags.

Now, they set up a transmitter outside a store with a higher power than a tag. Now they generate lots of signals for lingerie. Every time someone goes in the store, suddenly lots of knickers start appearing on their bills. Very quickly, M&S would end up with a real trust issue with the public.

Alternatives are just sending a more powerful signal than a tag. Since many tags are not battery based, a small battery based transmitter would send a stronger signal. It would be very difficult tracking down something the size of a pound coin, hidden in the locality of a point of sale system, or any other reader.


Wednesday, December 03, 2003


VeriChip are suggesting implantable RFID chips. One of the proposed solutions is to make it more secure to access medical records. The idea is that you have to be there to access the records, because they are secured by the implanted chip.

However, if a thief got near to you, they can record your chip, they can reproduce it. Now they can get access to your records without you.

The equivalent is walking around with your pin number tattooed on your forehead.


Monday, December 01, 2003

Wired News: When Cash Is Only Skin Deep 

Wired News: When Cash Is Only Skin Deep

It's another mad idea on RFID. To make financial transactions secure, you implant a chip under your skin. The assumption
being that it would be difficult for criminals to do the same repeatedly. However, RFID is read by radio. The chip doesn't
have to be under the skin, it could be nearby.

Silly idea again