rfid-security - Security and Privacy Aspects of Low-Cost...

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Security and Privacy Aspects of Low-Cost Radio Frequency Identification Systems Stephen A. Weis , Sanjay E. Sarma , Ronald L. Rivest and Daniel W. Engels Laboratory for Computer Science Auto-ID Center Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139, USA sweis,sesarma,rivest,dwe @mit.edu Abstract. Like many technologies, low-cost Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems will become pervasive in our daily lives when affixed to everyday con- sumer items as “smart labels”. While yielding great productivity gains, RFID systems may create new threats to the security and privacy of individuals or orga- nizations. This paper presents a brief description of RFID systems and their op- eration. We describe privacy and security risks and how they apply to the unique setting of low-cost RFID devices. We propose several security mechanisms and suggest areas for future research. 1 Introduction Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems are a common and useful tool in manu- facturing, supply chain management, and inventory control. Industries as varied as mi- crochip fabrication, automobile manufacturing, and even cattle herding have deployed RFID systems for automatic object identification. For over twenty years, consumer items have been identified with optical barcodes. One familiar optical barcode is the Universal Product Code (UPC), designed in 1973 [30] and found on many consumer products. More recently, RFID has made inroads into the consumer object identifica- tion market. Silicon manufacturing advancements are making low-cost RFID, or “smart label”, systems an economical replacement for optical barcode. RFID systems consist of radio frequency (RF) tags, or transponders, and RF tag readers, or transceivers. Tag readers interrogate tags for their contents by broadcast- ing an RF signal. Tags respond by transmitting back resident data, typically including a unique serial number. RFID tags have several major advantages over optical bar- code systems. Tag data may be read automatically: without line of sight, through non- conducting materials such as paper or cardboard, at a rate of several hundred tags per second, and from a range of several meters. Since tags typically are a silicon-based microchip, functionality beyond simple identification may be incorporated into the de- sign. This functionality might range from integrated sensors, to read/write storage, to supporting encryption and access control. Three example tags are shown in Figure 1. The potential benefits of a pervasive low-cost RFID system are enormous. World- wide, over 5 billion barcodes are scanned daily [8]. However, barcodes are typically
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Fig. 1. A passive RFID tag, an RFID tag with a printed barcode, and dust-sized RFID microchips. scanned only once during checkout. By integrating a unified identification system on
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2011 for the course SECURITY 2354 taught by Professor Morganjones during the Spring '11 term at Ucla Venezuela.

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rfid-security - Security and Privacy Aspects of Low-Cost...

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