student arrested for forging college id cards

20 years old student was arrested last week in Walla Walla, Washington with charges of second-degree identity theft and second-degree burglary. Simon Van Neste is a student at Whitman College. His arrest followed an alert from college monitoring system about an attempt to breach security. During the investigation the student turned in 13 magnetic stipe cards and magnetic encoder. He was using forged cards to gain access to secured areas of the college campus. President George Bridges said in email to students that so far there is no evidence that Van Neste was able to get access to confidential or private information.
Magnetic swipe cards are known for rather weak security. Low capacity of magnetic data carrier prevents data encryption in most cases. That’s why use of magnetic stipe cards is often accompanied by additional authentication or authorization such PIN or signature in debit and credit card transactions. Unprotected data can be read in matter of seconds with a portable magnetic stip reader. Magnetic encoders are also inexpensive and easy to obtain. Sensitive, confidential and private data should be protected with higher security level infrastructure than magnetic stip id card where data is unprotected.

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