Why your ID badge isn't as safe as you think

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 18:44:13-04

As the Republican National Convention approaches, one security expert told that RNC attendees and Clevelanders alike should be wary of hackers cloning ID badges. 

Dave Kennedy, CEO TrustedSEC and Binary Defense Systems, also showed how it’s done. 

Kennedy has been hired by some of the biggest companies in the nation — and in Cleveland — to break into their businesses and expose security soft spots. 

“I basically pretend to be a burglar,” said Kennedy, who’s been hired to steal data from companies and money from banks. 

He said the easy way to get into an organization is by cloning an employee’s radio frequency identification card. 

“It takes about half a second to clone somebody’s badge and then you are that person,” said Kennedy, who demonstrated by cloning an unwitting employee’s badge with his own homemade cloning device. 

Kennedy said this summer’s RNC crowd is a prime target hackers looking to access restricted areas. 

“You have a lot of politicians, people with a high level of access,” he explained. “You know just walking past them in a public place and being able to clone their badge is a significant threat.”

Kennedy said his best advice is hiding ID badges away when employees are not at work. He said cards hanging from a lanyard or a belt loop are easy targets for hackers with RFID cloning machines.