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Thread: New License Uses Bar-Code Technology

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    New License Uses Bar-Code Technology

    I am not sure if these licenses are already use in other, more 'up to date' states, but Kentucky has recently started to issue driver licenses that contain a barcode on the back of the card. The bar code supposedly contains your basic data, your social security number, and relevant insurance information.
    Police are supposed to be able to scan the back of this license with a laser reader (much like a grocery store check out gun) and check for insurance and any outstanding warrants, etc, etc..

    The problem I have with this is that from what I have been hearing on the streets, police are too heavily reliant on this new technology (required on all new licenses by KY state law), and simply scan the back of a card and use that information.

    I ask... how long before this bar code scheme using inherently weak encryption is cracked and you are able to completely change your identity by printing out a new card on your PC (using available hardware/software that umm, i know about)

    My concern is that this technology is being relied on and offers a false sense of security.

    comments? -or anyone with more information on this topic? -


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  2. #2
    Antionline Quitter..Srsly
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    hmmm down here in FL not that i know of ...ofcourse i dont have a license ...../me goes to ask Deb
    \"\"A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.\" G.K. Chesterton, 19th-century English essayist and poet\"

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    There is already hardware and software that will allow you to change the info and print info in magnetic strips.......The cracks are already available.....I won't tell you where to go, cause I aint into that, plus its too dangerous to mess with. However, it is an important security worry. It would expecially be if someone somehow stole your card
    M$ support is like shooting yourself in the left foot and then putting a band-aid on the right one.

  4. #4
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Uhm... given what I understood about barcodes, wouldn't they have a barcode which only served as an IDENTIFIER for a record already in a database? In other words, your name, address, etc. wouldn't be printed as the barcode, that would take too much area.

    I'd prefer a magnetic strip to a barcode, because then you don't have to worry about criminals taking a simple picture of your card.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bar codes can really only represent a string of number or letters usually to a max of about 20 characters...nothing that you could classify as personal info...except as terr notes...as a pointer to you database entry...of course if they have your dl number they have a key piece of info anyways..

    i'd be more concerned about a magstrip...there is a whole lot of info that can be stored on those...and it way easier to scan a mag strip for personal data that to break into the dmv mainframe to use the bar code...

    we've had barcode on our licenses for at least 7 years...last 2 i've had have had em...not a big deal as far as i'm concerned...
    I used to be With IT. But then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with isn't IT, and what's IT seems scary and weird." - Abe Simpson

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