Bump and clone: Do ID badges put college campuses at risk? - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

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>>

  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Save on Vacation

    Save on Vacation

    Monday, April 21 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-04-21 13:56:05 GMT
    Thinking about vacation is a lot of fun. Thinking about what it'll cost you is not so fun. Here are some ideas for cutting costs.
    Thinking about vacation is a lot of fun. Thinking about what it'll cost you is not so fun. Here are some ideas for cutting costs.
  • Get Financially Fit: A Step-By-Step Plan

    Get Financially Fit: A Step-By-Step Plan

    Monday, April 14 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-14 13:15:13 GMT
    April is Financial Literacy Month, so it's time to think about getting financially fit.  Let's start with two questions. Do you know how much you spend each month?  How much of your check should you save?
    April is Financial Literacy Month, so it's time to think about getting financially fit.  Let's start with two questions:  Do you know how much you spend each month?  How much of your check should you save?
  • 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>>

  • Hidden Treasures: April 24

    Hidden Treasures: April 24

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:32:15 GMT
    We asked you to share your hidden treasures with us, and boy, did you ever! We got dozens of emails from viewers who wanted to know what the items they had stashed away are worth.
    We asked you to share your hidden treasures with us, and boy, did you ever! We got dozens of emails from viewers who wanted to know what the items they had stashed away are worth.
  • Weekend Event Celebrates "Anything With A Motor In It"

    Weekend Event Celebrates "Anything With A Motor In It"

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:10:13 GMT
    If you spend your days fixing up cars, reading car magazine, and dreaming about that car you've always wanted...you might be a car enthusiast.
    If you spend your days fixing up cars, reading car magazine, and dreaming about that car you've always wanted...you might be a car enthusiast.
  • Safely restrain pets with the PupSaver

    Safely restrain pets with the PupSaver

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:07:29 GMT
    Most people treat their dogs just like their children. However, when it comes to dog safety in the vehicle, many drivers are buckling the children up but not safely restraining their pets.
    Most people treat their dogs just like their children. However, when it comes to dog safety in the vehicle, many drivers are buckling the children up but not safely restraining their pets.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

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