The Dark Side of RFID

RFID is very good for businesses that MUST keep track of physical items – boxes, pens, computers, and other things. RFID lets you a busy team of warehouse staff keep track of boxes by simply scanning a wand near boxes. No need to open the boxes, no need to read the tiny print on the label of the box. However, there IS a dark side to RFID that you should know about.
Using a device called a cloner, which can elicit, record, and mimic signals from smartcard RFID chips a thief need not touch you physically to steal your RFID encoded office key. They just have to get near you.
Wired Magazine writes For protection, RFID signals can be encrypted. The chips that will go into US passports, for example, will likely be coded to make it difficult for unauthorized readers to retrieve their onboard information (which will include a person’s name, age, nationality, and photo). But most commercial RFID tags don’t include security, which is expensive: A typical passive RFID chip costs about a quarter, whereas one with encryption capabilities runs about $5. It’s just not cost-effective for your average office building to invest in secure chips.
Reading this Wired article SHOULD scare you into ensuring that your RFID implementation is as SECURE as possible. However, remember, there are VERY few thieves who are going to hack into your RFID system. However, you must think, what is the worst that could happen if a thief hacked my RFID system? Furthermore, remember it’s not JUST about RFID but about the systems you have in place for your entire security (or other) system. Your staff (the humans) for example, they and not your RFID could be your weakest link.
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