The Vision of Secure RFID

Ari Juels
2007 Proceedings of the IEEE  
R adio frequency identification (RFID) is in essence a form of computer vision. RFID devices are wireless microchips conceived as a way of tagging objects for automated identification. In part, their purpose is to compensate for shortcomings in computer recognition of objects using cameras. Of course, RFID has an advantage over even the most acute eyes and brain: it is in fact a form of X-ray vision. When we hold wallets up to card readers to unlock doors, for instance, we experience the fact
more » ... at RFID tags are readable through other, opaque objects. Under ideal circumstances, certain types of inexpensive RFID tags (with no embedded power source) are subject to reading at a distance of tens of feet. RFID is poised then to become one of the sensory organs of our computing networks. Clarity in this emerging power of sight is important. Equally essential are the integrity of the data collected by RFID systems and appropriate curbs on the technology's X-ray power. In other words, the problems of authentication and privacy are fundamental to RFID security. RFID is not in fact a single technology, but a spectrum of devices united by a single aim: To communicate the identity of an object or person through radio transmission. Much of the recent ferment around RFID has focused
doi:10.1109/jproc.2007.900324 fatcat:2occgruzafej3bifkd4maqdesm