RFID's Security Challenge

    Date16 Nov 2004
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    5313
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    No one has complained of a security breach related to an RFID deployment--yet. Businesses and vendors alike acknowledge that security remains a question mark and that it has taken a backseat to the focus on bottom-line results and returns on investment for RFID-enabling their supply chains, for now.< . . . No one has complained of a security breach related to an RFID deployment--yet. Businesses and vendors alike acknowledge that security remains a question mark and that it has taken a backseat to the focus on bottom-line results and returns on investment for RFID-enabling their supply chains, for now.

    However, with a technology as ubiquitous as radio-frequency identification will be, there's great potential for damage, warns Salil Pradhan, chief technology officer of RFID technology at HP Labs. "Today with bar codes, it's a city street, and you're going at 20 or 30 miles an hour. Now you can hit someone, but the damage is only so much," he says. "With RFID, it becomes a freeway. You increase the velocity of goods, you're relying on this system, and if the system gets hacked, it will be a while before you even know about it."

    That's why the industry needs to get its security house in order. "The big issue that we face really is that the people driving the applications--the retailers and the consumer-products manufacturers--don't really understand what level of security they want," says Tony Sabetti, director of supply-chain products for RFID at chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc. "Or, I should say, what level of security they're willing to pay for."

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