Scientists to Discard RFID Technology Used in Passports, Credit Cards from Being Hacked

by January 2, 2017 0 comments

Scientists are trying hard to replace RFID technology used in passports, credit cards and online transactions from being hacked.

Business Standard

A man types on a laptop computer in an arranged photograph taken in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. U.S. officials are discussing whether new standards should be set for government action in response to hacks like the one suffered by Sony Pictures Entertainment, such as if a certain level of monetary damage is caused or if values such as free speech are trampled, National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers said in an interview with Bloomberg News. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg


The technology, which allows fast, automated identification of physical objects, is also a staple for many industries – factories and warehouses use it to track inventory and manage supply chains, pharmaceutical companies deploy it to track drugs, and courier services use it to tag deliveries.

“A security breach in RFID applications would leak valuable information about physical objects to unauthorised parties,” said Li Yingjiu, associate professor at the Singapore Management University (SMU), reports The Business Standard.

Security breaches can easily occur because RFID technology sends information to the electronic RFID readers and therefore, hackers can easily access or meddle with the information.

Scientists are planning and testing innovative RFID protocols with enhanced security features in order to secure communications between tags and readers.

The innovative techniques researchers are planning to develop are making two tags indistinguishable to the hacker and also thwarting hackers from gaining valuable information even if they succeed to intermingle with the tags.

In addition, there are many instances where sharing of RFID information – between suppliers and retailers, for example, or between various components of an Internet of Things – would have obvious benefits, Li said to the Business Standard.

However, devoid of proper security controls, most companies would be unwilling to make valuable data accessible.

To address this problem, researchers are also designing improved access control mechanisms that protect RFID information when it is shared on the internet.

“We in fact carry RFID around in our pockets – mobile payment systems use a specialised form of the technology. Given our increasing reliance on smartphones for everyday functions – banking transactions and contactless payments, for example – mobile security has become an area of critical importance,” concluded Li.



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