Securing RFIDs by randomizing the modulation and channel

Haitham Hassanieh, Jue Wang, Dina Katabi, Tadayoshi Kohno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

RFID cards are widely used in sensitive applications such as access control and payment systems. Past work shows that an eavesdropper snooping on the communication between a card and its legitimate reader can break their cryptographic protocol and obtain their secret keys. One solution to this problem is to install stronger encryption on the cards. However, RFIDs' size, power, and cost limitations do not allow for strong encryption protocols. Further, changing the encryption on the cards requires revoking billions of cards in consumers' hands, which is impracticable. This paper presents RF-Cloak, a solution that protects RFIDs from the above attacks, without any changes to today's cards. RF-Cloak achieves this performance using a novel transmission system that randomizes both the modulation and the wireless channels. It is the first system that defends RFIDs against MIMO eavesdroppers, even when the RFID reader has no MIMO capability. A prototype of our design built using software radios demonstrates its ability to protect commercial RFIDs from both single-antenna and MIMO eavesdroppers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2015
PublisherUSENIX
Pages235-249
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971218
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2015 - Oakland, United States
Duration: May 4 2015May 6 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2015

Other

Other12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOakland
Period5/4/155/6/15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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