Scholar: Taiwan’s new eID a juicy target for Chinese hackers

'It is erroneous and ignorant to say that the security of the cards is unquestionable because they sport TSMC chips': NCKU professor

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/10/09
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

New eID design (MOI photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the Taiwanese government proudly presents its new electronic national identification cards (eID), a prominent engineering professor has lambasted the project as an infringement of privacy and a potential single point of failure (SPOF).

Outspoken National Cheng Kung University professor Li Jung-shian (李忠憲) also criticized Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) over his "ignorant" support for the new ID system and his lack of knowledge of the potential security risks of chips regardless of their manufacturer.

Hsu had said recently that the cards will be manufactured by the Central Engraving and Printing Plant at a secure location under strict supervision and include chips supplied by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The ministry plans to issue a small number of the cards in three select areas (New Taipei, Penghu, Hsinchu) in early 2021 as a trial run.

To reassure the public of its security, Hsu emphasized that the electronic version of the ID reveals less personal data than the traditional one and comes equipped with anti-counterfeit features.

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