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 'Fingerprinting' RFID Tags: Researchers Develop Anti-Counterfeiting Technology

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Date posted: 20/11/2009

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a unique and robust method to prevent cloning of passive radio frequency identification tags. The technology, based on one or more unique physical attributes of individual tags rather than information stored on them, will prevent the production of counterfeit tags and thus greatly enhance both security and privacy for government agencies, businesses and consumers.

"RFID tags embedded in objects will become the standard way to identify objects and link them to the cyberworld," said Dale R. Thompson, associate professor of computer science and computer engineering. "However, it is easy to clone an RFID tag by copying the contents of its memory and applying them to a new, counterfeit tag, which can then be attached to a counterfeit product -- or person, in the case of these new e-passports. What we've developed is an electronic fingerprinting system to prevent this from happening."

Thompson and Jia Di, associate professor of computer science and computer engineering and co-principal investigator on the project, refer to the system as a fingerprint because they discovered that individual tags are unique, not because of the data or memory they contain, but because of radio-frequency and manufacturing differences.

As Thompson mentioned, RFID tags are becoming more prevalent. They have been used in a wide range of applications, including government processes, industry and manufacturing, supply-chain operations, payment and administration systems, and especially retail.

"In spite of this wide deployment, security and privacy issues have to be addressed to make it a dependable technology," Thompson said.

See the full Story via external site: www.sciencedaily.com



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