Estonia sues Gemalto for 152M euros over flaws in citizen ID cards issued by the company

Estonian sues Gemalto for 152 million euros following the security flaws in the citizen ID cards issued by the company that caused their recall in 2017.

Estonian authorities sue the security firm Gemalto for 152 million euros following the security flaws in the citizen ID cards issued by the company that caused their recall in 2017.

“Estonian police are seeking to recover 152 million euros ($178 mln) in a lawsuit filed on Thursday against digital security firm Gemalto, following a recall last year when security flaws were found in citizen ID cards produced by the firm.” reported the Reuters.

“The vulnerabilities to hacker attacks found in government- issued ID cards supplied by the Franco-Dutch company marked an embarrassing setback for Estonia, which has billed itself as the world’s most digitalised “e-government”.”

In November 2017, Estonia announced that it would suspend security digital certificates for up to 760,000 state-issued electronic ID-cards that are using the buggy chips to mitigate the risk of identity theft.

The decision comes after IT security researchers recently discovered a vulnerability in the chips used in the cards manufactured by the Gemalto-owned company Trub AG that open the doors to malware-based attacks.

Estonia cyber

At the time, Estonia had issued 1.3 million electronic ID cards offering citizens online access to a huge number of services through the “e-government” state portal. The Estonian electronic ID cards have been manufactured by the Swiss company Trub AG and its successor Gemalto AG since 2001.

According to Estonia’s Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), Gemalto failed to protect private keys with card’s chip exposing the government IDs vulnerable to cyber attack.

“It turned out that our partner had violated this principle for years, and we see this as a very serious breach of contract,” said PPA’s deputy director-general Krista Aas.

Estonia replaced Gemalto and its predecessor for the supply of ID cards since 2002, with the company Idemia.

“The PPA also said it planned to file separate claims for other breaches of the contract. Estonia had used Gemalto and its predecessor for its ID cards since 2002, but replaced the manufacturer with Idemia after it found serious security flaws last year.“continues the Reuters.

Gemalto hasn’t yet commented the news.



Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – electronic ID-cards, Estonia)


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