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SCI/TECH: RFID Easy to Hack?

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posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 08:37 AM
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are always under fire for undermining consumer privacy, many Christian groups even identify the technology as "The Mark of the Beast". This cutting-edge technology is under controversy again though, although now the problem is not just the consumers, the technology is insecure and could lead to a new era of shoplifting. As RFID technology is beginning its major rollout in select Wal-Mart stores and other stores around the globe is it a risk not worth taking?
Low-cost RFID tags--many which are smaller than a nickel and cost less too--are already being added to packaging by retailers to keep track of inventory but could be abused by hackers and tech-savvy shoplifters, said Lukas Grunwald, a senior consultant with DN-Systems Enterprise Solutions GmbH. While the technology mostly threatens consumer privacy, the new technology could allow thieves to fool merchants by changing the identity of goods, he said.

"This is a huge risk for companies," Grunwald said during a discussion at the Black Hat Security Briefings here. "It opens a whole new area for shoplifting as well as chaos attacks."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

When tools like RFID readers become widely avaliable hackers could bypass age restriction on adult movies and alcoholic drinks or make a $5,000 item 50 cents upon checkout.

Lukas Grunwald has created a program called RFDump which makes rewriting the RFIDs easy. Grunwald says that he created the program to serve two main purposes.

The first purpose is to protect consumers. If a customer leaves the store with an item with an RFID tag in it, that tag stays active and could be read any time in the future. With this program consumers can erase the tags and regain their privacy. The second purpose is to demonstrate how easy it is to hack this technology.

RFIDs are the wave of the future, and from the looks of things, it will be a chaotic future.

[edit on 7-29-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 08:51 AM
lol, who didn't see this mess coming? We've been all up in arms about our privacy, and then to add fuel to the fire someone releases an app that lets you modify and rewrite the data on RIFD tags. How many more kicks in the butt do we need before we come to the realization that RIFD is not as great as the people selling it say, and will pose just as many problems as WiFi has?

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