Bump and clone: Do ID badges put college campuses at risk? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Bump and clone: Do ID badges put college campuses at risk?

Posted: Updated:

Lots of people wear ID badges to work now, but often they carry more than just a name and a picture.  On college campuses, those IDs get you into classrooms, but it's also like a bank.  You can pay for your meals through that card.

They're called proximity cards because you just wave them near a card reader and it picks up the card's radio signal.  It's convenient for you, but the FOX 5 I-Team discovered the signal that's floating out there is easy for anybody to pick up.  

A maker of some of those cards has sent out a warning about something called "bump and clone."  Literally, you can just bump someone and grab their personal information from their badge.   The I-Team wanted to how easy or difficult that would be, so we went to Georgia Tech's campus, where their cards are the key to just about everything-- even their dorms.  

Nearly every entrance on the Georgia Tech campus requires a proximity card to get in.

Crazy is what junior Mark Sennett says after he sees what we were able to do with his campus ID called the BuzzCard.  While it was still in his pocket, in a split second, we lifted his information and used it to open a campus gate.

Walt Augustinowicz is CEO of Identity Stronghold, a company that sells sleeves that block the ability for cards to be cloned.  He says that the BuzzCard has a chip inside it that sends your personal information to another spot via radio frequency.  It's convenient, but security pays a price.

"These proximity cards that they use at a lot of colleges are totally cloneable," said Augustinowicz.  

When the radio signal floats from one place to the next, it's wide open for electronic pick pocketing.   

It wasn't a fluke.  We did it again and again and again.   With equipment that cost just a few hundred bucks, our expert did this with just an antenna and a card reader.  That's it.  

"There wasn't any programming on my part involved with doing this," said Augustinowicz.

No one at Georgia Tech would go on camera to discuss the vulnerabilities of the BuzzCard.  In an email, school officials said they've been using the card for 10 years and "there have been no reports of malicious use."

"To be fair, it's not just Georgia Tech," said Augustinowicz.  "There's lots of colleges. There's lots of police stations. There's lots of secure buildings all over the country that use this same card."

Georgia Tech isn't the only public state university to use these proximity cards.  Both Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State use proximity cards for dorm access.  UGA uses the proximity card, but only to access it's higher security buildings.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:04:32 GMT
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
  • Does social media make you spend more money?

    Does social media make you spend more money?

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:49:39 GMT
    The notion of 'Keeping up with the Jones' is not new, but there is a new pressure coming at you. Peer pressure - whether you're 13 or 33 - is a powerful thing. Now throw in social media and you have what an Atlanta counselor calls 'Keeping up with the Jones' on steroids. And if you're not careful that can get costly.
    The notion of 'Keeping up with the Jones' is not new, but there is a new pressure coming at you. Peer pressure - whether you're 13 or 33 - is a powerful thing. Now throw in social media and you have what an Atlanta counselor calls 'Keeping up with the Jones' on steroids. And if you're not careful that can get costly.
  • Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:11:30 GMT
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Big E celebration comes to North Georgia

    Big E celebration comes to North Georgia

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-07-30 13:40:00 GMT
    You know what the "Big E" is, right? Elvis! And the King is being celebrated in North Georgia this weekend! The 11th Annual Big E Fest and ETA Competition happens this weekend in Cornelia, GA.
    You know what the "Big E" is, right? Elvis! And the King is being celebrated in North Georgia this weekend! The 11th Annual Big E Fest and ETA Competition happens this weekend in Cornelia, GA.
  • Does social media make you spend more money?

    Does social media make you spend more money?

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:49:39 GMT
    The notion of 'Keeping up with the Jones' is not new, but there is a new pressure coming at you. Peer pressure - whether you're 13 or 33 - is a powerful thing. Now throw in social media and you have what an Atlanta counselor calls 'Keeping up with the Jones' on steroids. And if you're not careful that can get costly.
    The notion of 'Keeping up with the Jones' is not new, but there is a new pressure coming at you. Peer pressure - whether you're 13 or 33 - is a powerful thing. Now throw in social media and you have what an Atlanta counselor calls 'Keeping up with the Jones' on steroids. And if you're not careful that can get costly.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices