md5 collisions and speeding tickets

contini_at_matmail.com
Date: 08/12/05


Date: 11 Aug 2005 19:46:06 -0700

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/05/586.asp

Australian Court Questions Integrity of Speed Camera Photos
A NSW, Australian court calls into question the authenticity of every
speed issued in the state.

Sydney, Australia magistrate Lawrence Lawson ruled Tuesday that the
integrity and authenticity of speed camera photos in New South Wales
was unproven. The Hornsby Local Court judge tossed out a speeding case
and ordered the government to pay the defendant's $3300 legal bill
after it failed to produce a witness who could prove the photo (shown)
was not manipulated.

Each speed camera photo has an MD5 algorithm printed at the top that is
supposed to establish authenticity, but the government failed after two
months to find anyone who could explain how it does so. The defense
argued that research from Shandong University in China has exposed
flaws in MD5 that would allow the speed displayed in the camera
photograph to be manipulated without changing the 128-bit sequence that
is supposed to act as an electronic seal to establish that no tampering
has occurred.

The case could call into question the validity of fifteen years worth
of state photo tickets that have generated hundreds of millions of
dollars in revenue. The case also revealed Sydney Harbour Tunnel toll
cameras are turned off and have not issued a ticket in three years