Security

RFID vulnerable to viruses

RFID tags are being used more and more frequently to track

products, shipments and stock levels.  As

prices drop their use is becoming more widespread, it is expected that

eventually RFID tags will replace conventional barcodes (this does however

raise questions of consumer privacy rights)—pet owners can even have a tag

implanted in their pet for identification purposes.

Last week, researchers in Vrije

University (Amsterdam) wrote a proof of concept virus and

demonstrated how it can be used to corrupt related databases.  The virus was planted in the RFID tag, when

the tag is read the virus is transferred and trouble begins.  This would have huge implications, activists

could target stores by infecting tagged items therefore potentially destroying

or modifying stock data—luggage control in airports would also be a vulnerable

area.

The BBC has some useful information on RFID.

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