The recently published in Business Insider article has stirred many controversies. Its main message is that RFID could be easily hacked and therefore it cannot serve as an effective way for security or access control. Is it true?
It comes as no surprise that RFID ID can be copied and used by people who should not have access to our company, factory, warehouse or any given location. If you try hard, you might as well hack probably every technology that was invented, including biometrics. But since there are people working for a dark side of power, there are the good ones, as well. And this is their duty to come up with solutions increasing security. Thanks to engineers from Smart Technology Group and their Smart Mode, RFID is now appropriately protected.
Things have changed
Smart Mode is a perfect example for the basic rule, saying that it is always necessary to be one step ahead of your rivals. In this case, rivals are pundits that could break your RFID-based access control system. Smart Mode will make their efforts unsuccessful.
How does it work?
Smart Mode comes with RFID UHF reader, Master 01. It works as reader’s parent mode which can be launched in every working mode: polling, autorunning, autorunning+ or autonomous. It uses tags delivered by Smart Technology Group and allows to attribute them to specific system. RFID reader with Smart Mode recognizes such tags independently from EPC or TID number. And this is Smart Mode key feature. Security experts that cloned RFID ID card as featured in Business Insider article, have just cloned unprotected EPC number. They could do the same with TID number, yet it would be definitely more difficult. But RFID reader equipped with Smart Mode will easily and instantly recognize that such tag has been illegally modified. No matter if cloned number would be EPC or TID. With Smart Mode, copying EPC or even TID on another tag would not authorize such tag (e.g. someone will not obtain access).
It is because Smart Mode makes reader capable to recognize its own tags, regardless of their EPC or TID. Such process is run in reader itself, in is low layer. As a result, there is no need to create database and logically. Tag’s EPC or TID can have any value and tag would be identified.
What’s more, EPC number reprogramming in tag delivered by Smart Technology Group, in any case will not make this tag unrecognizable. Such tag will be still recognized as a tag correctly assigned to the system. Hence even if someone would try to change content of tag (to deprive someone of access privileges), it would not cause any harm to tag owner as tag would still work properly.
Times, they are a-changing
To have a whole picture of RFID, it is necessary to mention that soon the current generation of RFID devices will be replaced with Gen 2.0. Almost all readers manufactured by the biggest companies are ready to work in compliance with the newest standards. Gen 2.0 offers greatly improved security that in combination with Smart Mode provides user with almost 100% certainty that no tag would be illegally copied.
As a conclusion, it is necessary to say that RFID is actually much safer technology than it was presented in Business Insider. User’s safety is protected not only by devices (readers and tags) which are constantly improved, but also by technology itself. It would be unfair to consider RFID as an easy target for hackers.
By Przemyslaw Zielinski