The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

Personal firewall for the RFIDs you carry

Posted by Xavier Ashe on December 7, 2006

A Platform for RFID Security and Privacy Administration is a paper by
Melanie R. Rieback and Georgi N. Gaydadjiev that won the award for Best
Paper at the USENIX LISA (Large Installation Systems Administration)
conference today. It proposes a “firewall for RFID tags” — a device
that sits on your person and jams the signals from all your personal
wireless tags (transit passes, etc), then selectively impersonates them
according to rules you set. Your contactless transit card will only
send its signal when you authorize it, not when some jerk with an RFID
scanner snipes it as you walk down the street. The implementation
details are both ingenious and plausible — it's a remarkable piece of
work. Up until now, the standard answer to privacy concerns with RFIDs
is to just kill them — put your new US Passport in a microwave for a
few minutes to nuke the chip. But with an RFID firewall, it might be
possible to reap the benefits of RFID without the cost.

This is a must-read paper for anyone who cares about electronic privacy and who wants to catch a glimpse of the future.

Download the full paper (PDF). [via]

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