Okay, its not as simple as free, but Dr. B. Jacobs, computer science professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen has demonstrated how to copy the smart travel cards, and travel for free in London last June. His demonstration alarmed the card maker NXP, who claimed that the publication was irrelevant to the research, and filed a case at the Arnhem court. Last Friday, the Judge decided that the research can be published this Oktober, leaving little time for the card makers to create a fix.
The court: “Damage to NXP is not the result of the publication of the article but of the production and sale of a chip that appears to have shortcomings.” But with over 1 billion cards sold, the impact of publishing would be devastating.
“I’m very happy that the court upheld the right to open research and freedom of publication,” said K. Nohl, a gratuate student at the university of Virginia. CNET News “I’m also happy that the court understood that publishing vulnerabilities is a crucial part of the evolution of security and a different court outcome would have slowed down that evolution of smart card security and left too many systems vulnerable.”
But for those of you that are thinking of setting up your own card business, Mifare mentions that there are techniques and countermeasures to detect cards and data which have been tampered with. (read more)
Edit: Stefan pointed us to the PDF file in the comments!