Bump and clone: Do ID badges put college campuses at risk? - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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>>

  • Attorney General reopens investigation into DeKalb travel agent

    Attorney General reopens investigation into DeKalb travel agent

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:31:25 GMT
    FOX 5 I-Team InvestigatesFOX 5 I-Team Investigates
    A local travel agency owner, who's been ordered by the Attorney General's office to clean up his act, is facing the same complaints again. First, there were Girl Scouts then church ladies and now a family planning a cruise says its out $21,000.
    A local travel agency owner, who's been ordered by the Attorney General's office to clean up his act, is facing the same complaints again. First, there were Girl Scouts then church ladies and now a family planning a cruise says its out $21,000.
  • Ray McBerry ex-employee speaks

    Ray McBerry ex-employee speaks

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:02:51 GMT
    A second young woman filed a Henry County police complaint accusing former gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry of some bizarre behavior.
    A second young woman filed a Henry County police complaint accusing former gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry of some bizarre behavior.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Keeping beautiful Hydrangeas

    Pike Nurseries: Keeping beautiful Hydrangeas

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:40:27 GMT
    Looking for plants that add fresh color to the garden? Here are some easy ideas that use new varieties of old favorites--the hydrangea and azalea—that bloom from now until fall!
    Looking for plants that add fresh color to the garden? Here are some easy ideas that use new varieties of old favorites--the hydrangea and azalea—that bloom from now until fall!
  • Local Companies Partner To Make "Green" Beer

    Local Companies Partner To Make "Green" Beer

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:39:03 GMT
    Since it seems like there's a day for everything, get this -- today is "International Beer Day!"  And one local brewing company is celebrating
    Since it seems like there's a day for everything, get this -- today is "International Beer Day!"
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

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