ID-cards of 400,000 people might not work properly soon

A wave of identity theft cases has forced software giants and the European Union to introduce more stringent security requirements in order to ensure e-safety. For Estonians, this comes in the form of having to update ID-card certificates, which nearly 400,000 people failed to do by the July 1 deadline. Those who did are looking at a worst case scenario of having to apply for a new identification card.

«We have not seen a dangerous attack; however, it is better to be safe than sorry,»said analyst at the Information System Authority (RIA) Anto Veldre, commenting on the decision to switch to new certificates.

Western countries have experienced problems with identity theft and cybercrime in the past three to four years. Veldre says that elsewhere a computer virus is all one needs to access someone else’s bank account. «It is more complicated than that with the ID-card,»he said.

«Talking about identity theft, we are almost living in safety behind the Great Wall so to speak,»Veldre said. The expert explained that Estonia has two forms of identity theft: either the use of someone else’s ID-card or sharing someone else’s photographs without their permission.

The need to update certificates concerns owners of ID-cards issued before the middle of October 2014. These cards use the SHA-1 algorithm. The new certificates are based on the longer SHA-2 algorithm the world’s largest software companies are also adopting. «Google and Microsoft have said that the SHA-1 algorithm has become outdated, and that they will start working against it at one point,»the RIA analyst said.

It is difficult to predict the behavior of software titans. «We do not know whether support for SHA-1 will be taken out of web browsers. They have been changing deadlines. It is possible that Google Chrome will limit the use of certificates sporting weaker cryptographic security come fall. This could mean difficulties for users of ID-cards, for example in accessing online banking services,»Veldre said.

A solution was created in Estonia last year the likes of which exists nowhere in the world, which made it possible to update the certificates without having to spend hours queueing at a state agency. «I was amazed by the fact we managed to make it secure - updating one’s personal certificates from home over the internet,»he said.

Data from RIA suggests that a little under 400,000 digital documents - residence permit- and ID-card certificates - had not been updated by July. «The deadline for updating came and went on July 1, and it cannot be extended as it is an EU requirement,»Veldre said.

«The temporary solution is to use an alternative web browser, like Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer for Windows and Safari for Mac, come fall. Microsoft Edge cannot be used as an alternative as the browser does not support digital signatures,»the analyst said.

People who do not want to use other browsers (or experience problems using them) need to apply for a new ID-card. Both the physical document and certificates will remain valid even if the latter were not updated after July 1. Outdated certificates could manifest in problems when using e-services in the future. Potential problems concern card holders who use ID-card-based digital services.

Read other news of the city site of Tallinn.

postimees.ee
ID-cards
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Politics
Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Society
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
Society
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
Society
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
Society
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
Society
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Society
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Society
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
Society
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...