Tags operating on LF and HF bands are, in terms of radio wavelength, very close to the reader antenna because they are only a small percentage of a wavelength away. In this near field region, the tag is closely coupled electrically with the transmitter in the reader. The tag can modulate the field produced by the reader by changing the electrical loading the tag represents.
By switching between lower and higher relative loads, the tag produces a change that the reader can detect.
How to Cheat at Deploying and Securing RFID
At UHF and higher frequencies, the tag is more than one radio wavelength away from the reader, requiring a different approach. The tag can backscatter a signal. Active tags may contain functionally separated transmitters and receivers, and the tag need not respond on a frequency related to the reader's interrogation signal.
When written into the tag by an RFID printer, the tag contains a bit string of data. The first eight bits are a header which identifies the version of the protocol. The next 28 bits identify the organization that manages the data for this tag; the organization number is assigned by the EPCGlobal consortium. The next 24 bits are an object class, identifying the kind of product; the last 36 bits are a unique serial number for a particular tag. These last two fields are set by the organization that issued the tag. Rather like a URL , the total electronic product code number can be used as a key into a global database to uniquely identify a particular product.
Often more than one tag will respond to a tag reader, for example, many individual products with tags may be shipped in a common box or on a common pallet. Collision detection is important to allow reading of data. Two different types of protocols are used to "singulate" a particular tag, allowing its data to be read in the midst of many similar tags.
In a slotted Aloha system, the reader broadcasts an initialization command and a parameter that the tags individually use to pseudo-randomly delay their responses. When using an "adaptive binary tree" protocol, the reader sends an initialization symbol and then transmits one bit of ID data at a time; only tags with matching bits respond, and eventually only one tag matches the complete ID string. A group of objects, all of them RFID tagged, are read completely from one single reader position at one time.
However, as tags respond strictly sequentially, the time needed for bulk reading grows linearly with the number of labels to be read. This means it takes at least twice as long to read twice as many labels. Due to collision effects, the time required is greater. A group of tags has to be illuminated by the interrogating signal just like a single tag. This is not a challenge concerning energy, but with respect to visibility; if any of the tags are shielded by other tags, they might not be sufficiently illuminated to return a sufficient response.
Under operational conditions, bulk reading is not reliable. Bulk reading can be a rough guide for logistics decisions, but due to a high proportion of reading failures, it is not yet suitable for inventory management. However, when a single RFID tag might be seen as not guaranteeing a proper read, a bunch of RFID tags, where at least one will respond, may be a safer approach for detecting a known grouping of objects.
In this respect, bulk reading is a fuzzy method for process support. From the perspective of cost and effect, bulk reading is not reported as an economical approach to secure process control in logistics. RFID tags are easy to conceal or incorporate in other items. For example, in researchers at Bristol University successfully glued RFID micro-transponders to live ants in order to study their behavior.
Hitachi holds the record for the smallest RFID chip, at 0. The RFID tag can be affixed to an object and used to track and manage inventory, assets, people, etc. For example, it can be affixed to cars, computer equipment, books, mobile phones, etc. RFID offers advantages over manual systems or use of bar codes.
Product | How to Cheat at Deploying and Securing RFID
The tag can be read if passed near a reader, even if it is covered by the object or not visible. The tag can be read inside a case, carton, box or other container, and unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be read hundreds at a time. Bar codes can only be read one at a time using current devices. RFID can be used in a variety of applications,   such as:. In three factors drove a significant increase in RFID usage: decreased cost of equipment and tags, increased performance to a reliability of The adoption of these standards were driven by EPCglobal, a joint venture between GS1 and GS1 US , which were responsible for driving global adoption of the barcode in the s and s.
RFID provides a way for organizations to identify and manage stock, tools and equipment asset tracking , etc. Manufactured products such as automobiles or garments can be tracked through the factory and through shipping to the customer. Automatic identification with RFID can be used for inventory systems. Many organisations require that their vendors place RFID tags on all shipments to improve supply chain management.
RFID is used for item level tagging in retail stores. In addition to inventory control, this provides both protection against theft by customers shoplifting and employees "shrinkage" by using electronic article surveillance EAS , and a self checkout process for customers. Tags of different type can be physically removed with a special tool or deactivated electronically once items have been paid for. Casinos can use RFID to authenticate poker chips , and can selectively invalidate any chips known to be stolen. RFID tags are widely used in identification badges , replacing earlier magnetic stripe cards.
These badges need only be held within a certain distance of the reader to authenticate the holder. Tags can also be placed on vehicles, which can be read at a distance, to allow entrance to controlled areas without having to stop the vehicle and present a card or enter an access code. Facebook is using RFID cards at most of their live events to allow guests to automatically capture and post photos. The automotive brands have adopted RFID for social media product placement more quickly than other industries. To prevent retailers diverting products, manufacturers are exploring the use of RFID tags on promoted merchandise so that they can track exactly which product has sold through the supply chain at fully discounted prices.
Yard management, shipping and freight and distribution centers use RFID tracking. In the railroad industry, RFID tags mounted on locomotives and rolling stock identify the owner, identification number and type of equipment and its characteristics. This can be used with a database to identify the lading , origin, destination, etc. In commercial aviation, RFID is used to support maintenance on commercial aircraft. RFID tags are used to identify baggage and cargo at several airports and airlines. Some countries are using RFID for vehicle registration and enforcement.
RFID is used in intelligent transportation systems. The data are fed through the broadband wireless infrastructure to the traffic management center to be used in adaptive traffic control of the traffic lights. The RFID antenna in a permanently installed coupling half fixed part unmistakably identifies the RFID transponder placed in the other coupling half free part after completed coupling.
When connected the transponder of the free part transmits all important information contactless to the fixed part. The coupling's location can be clearly identified by the RFID transponder coding. The control is enabled to automatically start subsequent process steps. At least one company has introduced RFID to identify and locate underground infrastructure assets such as gas pipelines , sewer lines , electrical cables, communication cables, etc. In addition to information also contained on the visual data page of the passport, Malaysian e-passports record the travel history time, date, and place of entries and exits from the country.
ICAO standards provide for e-passports to be identifiable by a standard e-passport logo on the front cover. Since , RFID tags included in new United States passports will store the same information that is printed within the passport, and include a digital picture of the owner. The department will also implement Basic Access Control BAC , which functions as a personal identification number PIN in the form of characters printed on the passport data page.
The BAC also enables the encryption of any communication between the chip and interrogator. In many countries, RFID tags can be used to pay for mass transit fares on bus, trains, or subways, or to collect tolls on highways. Some bike lockers are operated with RFID cards assigned to individual users. A prepaid card is required to open or enter a facility or locker and is used to track and charge based on how long the bike is parked.
The Zipcar car-sharing service uses RFID cards for locking and unlocking cars and for member identification. Originally meant for large ranches and rough terrain, since the outbreak of mad-cow disease , RFID has become crucial in animal identification management. An implantable RFID tag or transponder can also be used for animal identification. The USDA is currently developing its own program. RFID tags are required for all cattle sold in Australia and in some states, sheep and goats as well. Biocompatible microchip implants that utilize RFID technology are being routinely implanted in humans.
In British scientist Mark Gasson had an advanced glass capsule RFID device surgically implanted into his left hand and subsequently demonstrated how a computer virus could wirelessly infect his implant and then be transmitted on to other systems. There is controversy regarding human applications of implantable RFID technology including concerns that individuals could potentially be tracked by carrying an identifier unique to them. Privacy advocates have protested against implantable RFID chips, warning of potential abuse. Some are concerned this could lead to abuse by an authoritarian government, to removal of freedoms,  and to the emergence of an "ultimate panopticon ", a society where all citizens behave in a socially accepted manner because others might be watching.
In healthcare, there is a need for increased visibility, efficiency, and gathering of data around relevant interactions. RFID tracking solutions are able to help healthcare facilities manage mobile medical equipment, improve patient workflow, monitor environmental conditions, and protect patients, staff and visitors from infection or other hazards. Adoption of RFID in the medical industry has been widespread and very effective. Hospitals are among the first users to combine both active and passive RFID. Many successful deployments in the healthcare industry have been cited where active technology tracks high-value, or frequently moved items, where passive technology tracks smaller, lower cost items that only need room-level identification.
A physical RFID tag may be incorporated with browser-based software to increase its efficacy. This software allows for different groups or specific hospital staff, nurses, and patients to see real-time data relevant to each piece of tracked equipment or personnel.
Real-time data is stored and archived to make use of historical reporting functionality and to prove compliance with various industry regulations.
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This combination of RFID real-time locating system hardware and software provides a powerful data collection tool for facilities seeking to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. The trend is toward using ISO c as the tag of choice and combining an active tagging system that relies on existing Since a number of U. Libraries have used RFID to replace the barcodes on library items.
The tag can contain identifying information or may just be a key into a database. An RFID system may replace or supplement bar codes and may offer another method of inventory management and self-service checkout by patrons. It can also act as a security device, taking the place of the more traditional electromagnetic security strip. Since RFID tags can be read through an item, there is no need to open a book cover or DVD case to scan an item, and a stack of books can be read simultaneously. Book tags can be read while books are in motion on a conveyor belt , which reduces staff time.
This can all be done by the borrowers themselves, reducing the need for library staff assistance. With portable readers, inventories could be done on a whole shelf of materials within seconds. RFID taking a large burden off staff could also mean that fewer staff will be needed, resulting in some of them getting laid off,  but that has so far not happened in North America where recent surveys have not returned a single library that cut staff because of adding RFID.
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In fact, library budgets are being reduced for personnel and increased for infrastructure, making it necessary for libraries to add automation to compensate for the reduced staff size. Also, the tasks that RFID takes over are largely not the primary tasks of librarians. A finding in the Netherlands is that borrowers are pleased with the fact that staff are now more available for answering questions.
Privacy concerns have been raised surrounding library use of RFID. However, library RFID tags do not contain any patron information,  and the tags used in the majority of libraries use a frequency only readable from approximately 10 feet 3. One simple option is to let the book transmit a code that has meaning only in conjunction with the library's database. Another possible enhancement would be to give each book a new code every time it is returned.
In future, should readers become ubiquitous and possibly networked , then stolen books could be traced even outside the library. Tag removal could be made difficult if the tags are so small that they fit invisibly inside a random page, possibly put there by the publisher. RFID technologies are now also implemented in end-user applications in museums. An example was the custom-designed temporary research application, "eXspot," at the Exploratorium , a science museum in San Francisco, California.
Courtois NT. The Dark side of security by obscurity and cloning MiFare Classic rail and building passes anywhere, anytime. Teepe W. Making the Best of Mifare Classic. Nijmegen, the Netherlands: Radboud University, Wirelessly pickpocketing a Mifare Classic card. Grand J. Protecting your crown jewels: an introduction to embedded security for hardware-based products.
Comput Fraud Secur ; 13— Security analysis of a cryptographically—enabled RFID device. EM side-channel attacks on commercial contactless smartcards using low-cost equipment. Lect Notes Comput Sc ; 79— Chip and PIN is broken. An introduction to biometric recognition. Iranmanesh SH, Zarezadeh M. Time series prediction based on Narx neural networks: an advanced approach.
Pilka F, Oravec M. Multi—step ahead prediction using neural networks. HID Global did not ask IOActive to refrain from giving the presentation, but asked that any schematics and source code belonging to the company not be distributed, Kathleen Carroll, HID's director of government relations, told SecurityFocus. We merely wanted them to modify the presentation. Carroll, who spoke with SecurityFocus from a conference in Washington D. However, Carroll maintained that in the real world, the attack would not be subtle or, likely, feasible. It has to get within 2 to 3 inches of the reader and it has to be in the same plane as the reader.
Privacy Statement Copyright , SecurityFocus. Legal threats scuttle RFID flaw demo Robert Lemos , SecurityFocus A security researcher scheduled to present information on issues with radio-frequency identification RFID technology at the Black Hat Federal conference this week was silenced by security technology giant HID Global, which claimed the presentation would violate its intellectual property.
There is a lot of misunderstanding in the industry regarding the security of these things.