January 26, 2011

Free and undetected travel with public transport chip card

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:24 pm

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)

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April 8, 2010

Blaming hacker for intercom malfunction in Maastricht

Filed under: General,Online,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:41 pm

On Wednesday 6 April around noon, the Maastricht train station had to deal with some unrest when passengers were asked over the intercom to evacuate the station. It took station employees 10 minutes to figure out that it was all in error. So what did they tell people? They basically made up a story about a hacker breaking into their system.

Apparently a women’s voice in English told passsegers for more than an hour to leave the station. The employees told people a hacker was responsible, although the system had a malfunction, pure and simple. A spokesperson eventually explained that the station was busy installing a new system, which had a malfunction.

Interestingly enough, ‘serious’ news channel RTL4 ran with the hacker idea and are still claiming that is the case.

(Link: limburger.nl)

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September 21, 2008

Famous geek Mark Hoekstra dies suddenly

Filed under: Gadgets,General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:38 am
Mark Hoekstra

Mark Hoekstra, Dutch blogger and hacker, has passed away at the age of 34 after suffering a heart attack last Wednesday. We at 24oranges found out on Twitter this morning. We mentioned him once last year because he did really cool stuff: Illegal but fun broadband access.

Quoting TUAW: “Many of Mark’s hacks and adventures are thoroughly documented on his blog, geek technique, evidence of Mark’s creative drive and problem-solving ability. He was a geek’s geek in the proudest sense of the word.”

(Link: tuaw)

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January 8, 2008

Public transport chip card suffers another blow

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:15 am
chip card logo

The security of the public transport chip card (OV-chipkaart), which was supposed to replace the strip tickets in 2007, has been compromised. German hackers have apparently cracked the secret code of the chip in the card. For Rop Gonggrijp, Dutch hacker and initiator of the campaign against voting computers, the consequences are clear: “This chip card technology is gone, broken, can no longer be used.”

According to the government, the chip card will now be introduced in 2009. However, more problems for the chip card just mean more delay in implementing it. Since the chip has been cracked, travellers could travel for free. And then imagine the breach of privacy with all the data on the chip. Other companies have simply taken measures to avoid being cracked, which was not the case here.

The two German researchers presented their breakthrough at the 24th Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin late last year. Cracking this ‘Mifare’ chip has been a huge thing with hackers for years. It was done with equipment that cost no more than EUR 100.

The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management says on their site that “The OV chip card will be phased in from 2007 starting in the Randstad. The rest of the country will have a functioning OV chip card system around 2008. The strip ticket will be abolished no later than January 2009.” The last time they announced the abolishment of the strip ticket, the government has to reverse its decision because the chip card simply did not work. The list of problems in the Rotterdam test areas include gates that don’t open, broken card chargers, money transfers that never went through and checking in through a port, but forgetting to check out. Oh and about more than 3,000 complaints.

Having spent Christmas in Oslo, Norway, I saw the exact same chip card machine everywhere not being used by people and looking vandalised. I asked my Norwergian IT friend and he said “oh that thing, that doesn’t work at all”. They use strip tickets too.

(Link and image: Volkskrant)

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