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RFID security could get better

Information Security magazine’s Senior Technology Editor Neil Roiter wrote a story about University of Massachusetts at Amherst researchers who developed a way to generate a unique set of random numbers to secure radio frequency identification technology (RFID) tags.

We’ve heard about security researchers cracking RFID chips. Security researcher Adam Laurie has been warning of RFID weaknesses. Laurie explained in a recent interview why he believes RFID vendors are ignoring RFID security and privacy issues. He has demonstrated how easy it is to copy an RFID tag, including those found in some passports.

Several years ago RFID seemed to have a lot of momentum. Billed to improve supply chain management, retailers, suppliers and manufacturers were lining up to see the benefits. SAP, Oracle and IBM were among the top vendors pushing the benefits and a package of technologies to tag, collect and analyze RFID data. Walmart helped push standards and directed its suppliers to begin tagging. But privacy and security issues, the cost of implementing RFID tagging and the storage requirements for RFID data collection seems to have stalled adoption.

It will be interesting to see if solving the security equation will result in a resurgence of interest in the technology. Stay tuned.

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