Dutch Chipmaker Sues To Prevent Researchers From Publishing Info About Security Flaws
from the security-by-obscurity? dept
NXP Semiconductors, which was formerly Philips Semiconductor division, is suing some researchers to prevent the publication of a paper outlining the security flaws in smartcards made by NXP. These smartcards are widely used for transit systems and building locks. Of course, the fact that these cards have been insecure has actually been known for quite some time. Rather than fixing the problem, though, NXP spent plenty of effort denying any problem existed. Now that multiple researchers have demonstrated that the problem really does exist, NXP is claiming it hasn’t had enough time to fix the problem, and thus is suing to prevent publication.
Of course, if NXP hadn’t wasted so much time insisting there was no problem, perhaps it would have been closer to a fix. And, most importantly, those who are looking to use this vulnerability already have access to it. Publication in a journal isn’t going to alert criminals — they already know about it. What it could do, however, is get more researchers helping on a solution. But, apparently, NXP would rather pretend that if they keep the details hidden, they can pretend there is no problem.