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RFID security: Computer sci prof recommends TINFOIL to protect

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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:46 PM
Original message
RFID security: Computer sci prof recommends TINFOIL to protect
gasoline and toll-booth "pass" accounts and car-key ignition locks!

(From http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/29/national/29key.html?p... )

"Graduate Cryptographers Unlock Code of 'Thiefproof' Car Key

By JOHN SCHWARTZ January 29, 2005

{A team at Johns Hopkins} has cracked the security behind "immobilizer" systems from Texas Instruments Inc. The systems reduce car theft, because vehicles will not start unless the system recognizes a tiny chip in the authorized key. They are used in millions of Fords, Toyotas and Nissans. All that would be required to steal a car, the researchers said, is a moment next to the car owner to extract data from the key, less than an hour of computing, and a few minutes to break in, feed the key code to the car and hot-wire it.

The implications of the Hopkins finding go beyond stealing cars. Variations on the technology used in the chips, known as RFID for radio frequency identification, are widely used. Similar systems deduct highway tolls from drivers' accounts and restrict access to workplaces.

The Johns Hopkins researchers say that if other radio frequency ID systems are vulnerable, the new field could offer far less security than its proponents promise. ... Aviel D. Rubin, a professor of computer science who led the team, said that if criminals did eventually duplicate his students' work, PEOPLE COULD BLOCK EAVESDROPPERS BY KEEPING THE KEY OR SPEEDPASS TOKEN IN A TINFOIL SHEATH WHEN NOT IN USE."
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. All my tinfoil is on my head.
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. that was funny
thanks for the laugh

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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Whoa ! I heard Wal Mart was going total RFID. Doe this mean
the end of life as we know it !
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. Actually not far off...
He's talking about the "Shoplifter's bag", usually the best example is a potato chip bag. Use one to line a pocket and you can walk out with as many CD's as you want, because it blocks the scanner at the front of the store. Not that I know anything about this, of course. I imagine it would work in the reverse too, by blocking the RFID signal, it is weak, and you can walk out of the store, because according to the reciever, you never had the item in question in the first place.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. The innovation of technology will never surpass the need to circumvent it.
It becomes more of a challenge that they can't resist. People will either obey the law, or they won't. Technology merely presents another challenge to those determined to break it.

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Ah yes, true, but many just like the challenge itself...
its a game, mostly, and the sad part is, that this RFID isn't revolutionary or anything. So those who would circumvent it just to do so are probably disappointed to say the least. I mean c'mon, radio frequencies?!?! I could think of several ways to block those.
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