Today, CNN.com is featuring an article about the vulnerabilities of e-Passports. In case you don’t know, beginning in August, new U.S. passports will contain an RFID tag. An RFID tag is a little circuit and antenna that allows data to be read from it wirelessly. The plan is to speed up check-in by automating the process of getting the indentification information from the traveler’s passport. Unfortunately, anyone with an RFID tag reader can read the data without you even knowing it. Great… just what we need, identity theft on a global scale.
A simple and inexpensive way to defend against unwanted access to your e-Passport is to wrap it in aluminum foil. RFID tags are designed to be used at close range, so it doesn’t take much to interfere with them. One layer of aluminum foil will attenuate the radio signal enough to stop any unwanted access of your information. Though, you’ll probably need to remove it from the foil before you hand it over to the customs official.