The big story out of last week's Black Hat security conference was that HID Global, a maker of RFID-based door entry cards, managed to prevent a demonstration of how their products were vulnerable to cloning. What made their threats particularly odious was their claim that the presenters were somehow engaging in patent infringement by demonstrating the attack. More broadly, however, this kind of intimidation is almost always a mistake. It only made the company look like bullies with something to hide. It seems that the company may already be paying the consequences for its heavy-handed actions, as the DHS is said to now be examining the vulnerability further. HID Global is now backtracking, saying that it never intended to prevent the presentation from happening, although they don't seem to explain how everybody got that impression. Either way, any hope that the company had in keeping this threat quiet is now totally lost.
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