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One company, SecureRF, announced in November that it had developed an encryption and authentication protocol for EPC Gen 2 tags.

"There's enough for us to work with on the [EPC Gen 2] tags to add this security protocol," says SecureRF CEO Louis Parks. A working version of SecureRF's Gen 2 tag, with onboard security, is expected to be available this month. The tag is aimed at the pharmaceutical industry.

RSA, Cybertrust and Accenture are among the companies engaging in "social engineering," providing advice on creating physical barriers to rogue readers that may lurk outside warehouses. They are also telling companies how best to shield their RFID-tagged ID cards from readers outside the office.

Ashton says that the EPC network of tags and readers is "nicely architected for upgrades, so companies need not fear making a Gen 2 investment. Readers can be made compatible with new tags, and old tags, made for pennies apiece, are meant to die once they leave the supply chain.

"They are like the little fruit flies of the computer world."


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This was first published in January 2007

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