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RFID Security

Deepti Agrawal


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology that promises to bring enormous productivity benefits in applications that require mass object identification. However, just as with any other new technology, widespread deployment of RFID tags has its own benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, RFID systems have great potential for further automating warehousing, tracking & tracing, preventing counterfeiting, reducing supply chain costs and introduction of a whole lot of new 'smart' applications. On the other hand, the ability to uniquely identify a tag enables easy traceability of persons and goods, thereby raising privacy concerns.Classical security measures or privacy enhancing technologies cannot be applied to general RFID systems due to their limited power and computing resources. Another important issue is that the level of security and privacy, and hence, the associated RFID tag cost, depends on the application. For instance, for tagging a 10 cent showpiece, it might not be worthwhile to invest in a 5 cent tag. However, to track a piece of jewellery priced at $50, it would a good idea to tag it with a $2 tag having sufficient cryptographic abilities. It is evident that there is no universal solution, but a range of solutions, each suitable in a different context. Moreover, for each context, the privacy requirements also differ.The goal of this project is to compare existing approaches and come up with new methodologies to protect user's privacy in different RFID based applications. The strength and flavor of proposed security solutions will depend on the allowed tag cost for different applications.

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