Data from the biometric passports can be transferred onto blank chips, which could then be implanted in fake passports, a flaw that he said undermined the project.
Grunwald said he made his discovery within two weeks of first trying to copy the data, and the equipment used cost just $200. It is believed the hacking principle could be applied to any new passport. But the findings do not mean that all biometric information could be faked or altered by criminals. Although the data held on a passport chip are not encrypted, it is not yet possible to change the cloned data without alerting the authorities.