NXP sues university over 'Oyster crack'

NXP sues university over 'Oyster crack'

Summary: The company behind the Mifare Classic chipset is to sue Radboud University in an attempt to stop it publishing a paper detailing the alleged cracking of the Oyster smartcard

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TOPICS: Security
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Chip company NXP Semiconductors is to sue Radboud University in an attempt to halt the publication of a paper detailing the cryptographic cracking of the Oyster smartcard, used widely on the London transport network.

The case is to be heard on Thursday in a court in Arnheim, NXP told ZDNet.co.uk on Tuesday. However, an NXP spokesperson declined to give any reasons at present for the company seeking to halt the publication.

Researchers from the Radboud University in Nijmegen last month claimed to have cracked the security on the Oyster card, which uses an NXP chipset called Mifare Classic. The research had led on from a cryptographic crack of Mifare Classic by German researchers Karsten Nohl and Henryk Plötz.

A spokesperson for Radboud University told ZDNet.co.uk that NXP wanted to stop publication of the paper due to "safety reasons". However, the spokesperson said that the university intended to proceed with the publication of the research at the Esorics conference in Malaga in October. The court is expected to reach a decision next week.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • Oyster crack

    If the publication can be used as a manual for others to exploit the system, then NXP have a case, but I doubt a university would allow that. If instead it just outlines the vulnerabilities then NXP are just saving themselves from embarrassment rather than dealing with the problem.

    They should get used to it too, these things happen with every tech product that comes out!
    harpless