The UK's biometric passport system has been succesfully hacked using equipment that costs just £105.

German security researcher Lukas Grunwald told last week's Defcon security conference that he had found out how to clone the information held on the passports. This data can then be misused to create fake passports.

The contentious project to include people's personal data on passports has cost the UK government almost half a billion pounds so far.

"From my point of view all of these biometric passports are a huge waste of money - they're not increasing security at all," Grunwald said.

It took him just two weeks to crack the systems, though he can't yet edit the data held on the passports.