Free and undetected travel with public transport chip card


After a series of nasty blows, like bludgeoning some game monster that just won’t die, the Dutch public transport chip card has been given what mainstream media see as the kiss of death.

With a computer running Windows and a hacker’s program called LogicAnalyz3r, not only can you top up your chip card like there’s no tomorrow, but travel without any kind of detection. If you put fake money on a proper card, check in or out normally while it doesn’t register, you have yourself a ticket to ride.

“The gates and top-up devices don’t check whether actual money was transferred from the bank to your chip card. Cracking the card takes about an hour, after that, it’s just a matter of seconds.”

Yes, it’s in Dutch, but computer magazine PC-Active has written up the entire how to in a handy PDF.

TLS, the company responsible for the chip card kept saying this was ‘a hacker thing, and not for ordinary people’. If that’s not begging to be bludgeoned by hackers, I don’t know what it. TLS’ Financial Director was pathetically (yes, value judgement) quoted on telly yesterday as saying, “It’s forbidden, why would anybody do that?” Sure dude, nobody downloads from the Internet, that would be wrong.

Yes, NOS Dutch news item is in Dutch, but it’s all about the tech shown in the video.
‘Tampering with balance on chipcard is easy’

UPDATE: TLS is currently looking for a Security Officer & Fraud Manager (Thanks @AlexanderNL, @gronical!)

(Link: webwereld, Photo by Franklin Heijnen, some rights reserved)


  1. dersk says:

    For a technology company, they seem really inept. The transaction history has never worked on their web site, so you can never see if you’ve been overcharged (this is over several years), and they’ve never ever answered any emails to their site. I miss my strippenkaart.

  2. […] The Big Brother Awards 2010 for the ‘worse breacher of privacy’ was awarded to Trans Link Systems (TLS), the folks who brought to you the disaster of a public transport chip card here in the Netherlands. Even the public’s choice award went to them for the double whammy. The card has been cracked every which way possible, but the makers pretend they have the situation under control, but they don’t. […]

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