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
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]