Optaglio solution protects chips in ePassports


Czech high-resolution security holograms firm Optaglio has announced a new solution focused on protecting chips in e-passports against removal and replacement. It is expected that high proportion of counterfeiting attacks will target chips with biometric data in foreseeable future.

Personal and biometric data stored in a chip inside a document is a robust authentication tool. It supports all levels of machine reading up to automated e-gates. However, these chips are often targeted by counterfeiters, despite the fact that most document producers apply a kind of protection. “Our discussions with forensic laboratories experts confirm recent growth in attempts for chip replacement. Some five years ago, the attackers mostly tried to disable chips, but the e-gates force them to apply more sophisticated technologies,“ says Dr. Tomas Karensky, senior research manager in Optaglio.

The new Optaglio solution is based on covering a chip with a hologram consisting of thousands of tiny parts. Any attempt for manipulation results in irreversible disintegration of a hologram. “We spent a lot of time and energy on testing, trying all possible methods of chip replacement. Now we are pretty confident that our solution is strong and resistant,“ Karenský continues. “We had already had an excellent solution for polycarbonate, and now we can also cover PVC cards. Design of hologram is also critical. The attacker can replace it with another hologram with a similar look. The hologram must, therefore, include some striking and unusual visual effect that is not imitable. In this area, we are helped by the recent reaching 5 million DPI and development of new effects including 3D animation.“

The solution announced is a product of Optaglio Labs. In 1994, Optaglio originated from Czech Academy of Science, and it still has original curiosity and experimental attitude. It has built an international scientific team step by step. In 2015, Optaglio´s research activities were consolidated and moved to Lochovice, Czech Republic.


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