A German TV programme showed hackers from the Chaos Computer Club using off-the-shelf equipment to extract personal information from the government's new "secure" ID card, which stores scans of fingerprints and a six-digit PIN that can be used to sign official documents and declarations.
In an interview with the show, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said he saw no immediate reason to act on the alleged security issue.
Meanwhile on Tuesday the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) rejected the Plusminus' criticism of the new ID card. The agency's personal identification expert Jens Bender said the card was secure and called the combination of an integrated chip with a PIN number a "significant security improvement compared to today's standard process of user name and password."
But a classic Trojan horse program that logs keystrokes remained a threat, he admitted, because users must use keyboards in addition to the scanners.