Growing Concerns Over Israel’s Biometric Database
After a group of German hackers announced they have already succeeded in breaking into the biometric security system on the new Apple 5S, opponents to the biometric database in Israel fear it is only a matter of time.
Israeli expert Amir Karnei of ESET explains “There has never been a database in Israel that does not eventually find its way on the internet and the biometric program will not be an exception. Promises that the new identity card (teudat zehut) biometric database will not be broken are nonsense. It is only a matter of time” he states.
Karnei explains that the systems become increasingly sophisticated and more difficult to penetrate but there is no such thing a system that cannot be hacked. Karnei warns that in recent months rumors have spread in Israel that the basic security platform for the biometric database is not sufficient and the system will be broken. Karnei stresses that experience regarding data security in Israel has proven him correct.
He continues by pointing out the changeover to biometric is “fashionable because it easier to use an eye scan or fingerprint as opposed to remembering additional passwords”, however he feels the move will lead to compromised security. “Anyone living with the belief that the new identity database will not be cracked is fooling himself”.
The prominent computer security expert warns that Apple will deal with the breach but it should serve as yet another warning for Israel, that the new experimental biometric database will be penetrated – stating with absolute certainty “it’s only a matter of time”.
Michael (Micha) Shafir
Founded Pons Holdings (Technology Greenhouse) on March 2003 and PonsEye Medical Sciences LTD. on August 2003. 2000-2003 - MagniFire Co-Founder, CTO and Chief Architect. Founded MagniFire on August 2000 (F5 Networks has bought MagniFire WebSystems on June 2004 for $29 million in cash).
Micha has over 20 years of networking and information security experience. Before founding MagniFire, he headed new product development at Radware Ltd. (NASDAQ: RDWR). At Radware Micha participated in and led the new technology definitions and implementations, working closely with resellers worldwide and established the company's support team. Prior to his work in Radware, Micha established the integration department and acted as its manager at Israel's largest networking company, Bynet Data Communication Ltd.
Micha holds long patents attainments (Medical science, security, networking and communication).
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Jul. 9, 2014 – 01:40PM
By AMBER CORRIN
The stuff of science-fiction already is a reality at some agencies, where the use of biometrics — think iris scans, palm prints, voice identification — is either in place or under development. But are biometrics the answer to the identity management problems the government is struggling to solve?
Identity theft plagues the American public, most commonly through stolen fraudulently acquired credit or debit cards. But fraud and theft aren’t just commercial problems: At the Internal Revenue Service alone, more than $5.2 billion in erroneous tax refunds are sent out because of identity theft, according to an IRS official.
The pressure is on the federal government to find identity management solutions as citizens increasingly demand the same easy-to-consume, online services from agencies that they get from their banks or credit card companies. That pressure forces federal officials to strike a balance between opening themselves up to risk by putting sensitive information online and meeting citizen demand for access.
“If somebody steals your identity and then they file your tax return using that identity, that tax return is going to go to them. Identity theft is not the same for the IRS as it is for other agencies,” said Alan Duncan, assistant inspector general for security and IT services at the Treasury Department’s Tax Administration. “Identity management is really key if you’re talking about trying to [connect] every citizen who has an interest in talking to the IRS. If you want to check your payments, get a transcript to support your mortgage … you should be able to do that just like you do with your bank account, when you look at your account and reconcile it and make sure everything is in order. That’s not possible today.”
Some say with biometrics that kind of access could be possible. Paul Hunter, deputy chief of the biometrics division of the Homeland Security Department’s Citizen and Immigration Services, points to DHS’ National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace and Office of Biometric Identity Management, formerly US-VISIT, as prime examples of federal use of biometrics for citizen services.