[fc-discuss] Financial Cryptography Update: The Price for Your Identity

iang@iang.org iang@iang.org
Sat, 4 Feb 2006 18:48:26 +0000 (GMT)

(((((( Financial Cryptography Update: The Price for Your Identity ))))))

                           February 04, 2006




So what does it cost to forge an identity?  Here's a list of costs.  In

When interviewed the duo said they were conducting at least eight
transactions a day, totalling around 5,000 sales over two years. A
passport would cost £350, a national insurance card or a driving
license would cost £50 to £75.

In Japan, driver's licences are no trouble if you know a Colombian.

The Hyogo prefectural police and other police headquarters have
arrested 12 members of the ring, nine of them Colombians. The police
reported that some of the suspects said that in addition to the forged
passports, they bought bogus driver's licenses and cash cards before
entering Japan for only 20 dollars.

Back to Britain, and the Sunday Herald dives into the business of
undercover policework.	Here's a heavily redacted snippage indicating a
top-drawer contender.

He tells us one passport costs just over £1000, but if we buy more, the
price drops to around £800.
There, Pavel brings out a sample of the kind of passport he will be
able to get for us. The passports are 100% authentic to the eye.
British immigration and passport experts who examined the document on
guarantee of anonymity said it was “the very best [they’d] ever seen”.
It even passed an ultraviolet light test which British passport
controllers use to show up hidden watermarks which are in every genuine

They said it was “real” and could easily be used to open a bank account
without alerting any suspicion.
The officer, who takes the lead on ID theft within the SDEA, added:
“There has been an upswing in the trade in fake documentation.

Please note that the purpose of collecting this information is for
security researchers to form a validated view of what it costs an
attacker to breach their designs (so I won't bother to point out where
you can buy them).

Most security designs simply assume that collecting the identity of
someone grants the holder magical security properties;	unfortunately
the truth is far less encouraging and the result is that relying on
identity collection is probably only reliable for stopping honest
people and your poorer class of criminal from defrauding the system.

Here's my predicted benchmark - forging any identity costs
approximately 1000 (in today's major units).  I'll update that as we
get better into it.

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