Estonian RIA advises not to rush with ID card update

26/10/17

Estonia's Information System Authority (RIA) has advised citizens not to rush with ID card update following a security concern. 

The RIA has advised residents using the card in their everyday work not to rush with updating their card's software, reports ERR.

"Now we know that a similar security risk can be found in a very broad range of products, not just ID cards as we knew to date, but also in the security base software used in present-day computers," RIA Director General Taimar Peterkop said at a press conference on Thursday.

He said the security risk affects a number of global companies, including Microsoft and Google.

According to Peterkop, since the patch for updating ID card software became available on Wednesday, more than 2,500 people have utilized the update. He said that people should not rush to make the update, however, as many parties have yet to update their own information systems, and systems which have not been updated cannot be accessed with a card using the updated software.

"It is not enough that the RIA, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), SK ID Solutions and Gemalto have their solutions out," Peterkop stressed. "All others must update their information systems as well."

Most banks operating in Estonia have completed these updates. "In the medical sector, we have advised not to rush as long as not everyone is ready with these updates," he added.

According to the RIA director, the remote update can be made by a maximum of 1,000 people at any given time and 15,000 people per day. It will take approximately one month until an update of the ID card encryption software becomes available.

He said that anyone who wishes to update their ID card certificate should be prepared to wait and try again if they cannot access the system on their first attempt.

Estonia to provide €670,000 in support for Mobile-ID access development (1)

"This is not a typical IT development; it is a process for preventing a security risk with a significant impact that is underway here," said Peterkop. "Therefore we must do things faster."

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