Warnings About RFID Security Breach

Jul 29, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Retailers who may eventually deploy radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on individual items are going to have more to worry about than protecting the privacy of the consumers
who purchase the products. They’re also going to have to worry about being ripped off, says a CNETNews.com report.

Lukas Grunwald, a senior consultant with DN-Systems Enterprise Solutions GmbH, said holes in the technology’s security could allow thieves to change the identity of a product
to something much less expensive and then self-check themselves out of the store with management none the wiser.

“This is a huge risk for companies,” he said. “It opens a whole new area for shoplifting as well as chaos attacks.”

Mr. Grunwald is sure the risk is real because he created a software program that allows anyone to read and reprogram RFID tags.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the warnings about holes in RFID security?

The CNETNews.com piece also provided other scary uses for those with a program similar to that developed by Lukas Grunwald. “Underage hackers could
attempt to bypass age restrictions on alcoholic drinks and adult movies, and pranksters could create confusion by randomly swapping tags, requiring that a store do manual inventory.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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