Fingerprinting RFID Tags

Document Type

Article - Abstract Only

Publication Date



Fingerprint recognition, Frequency measurement, RFID tags, Network security, Power measurement, Authentication, Wireless sensor networks, Authorisation, Cryptographic protocols, Fingerprint identification, Rediofrequency identification, Telecommunication security, Fingerprinting RFID tag, Conventional encryption algorithm, Security protocol, Electronic fingerprint, Minimum power response, Compuational capability, Pervasive computing, Unauthorized access


Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are low-cost devices that are used to uniquely identify the objects to which they are attached. Due to the low cost and small size that are driving the technology, a tag has limited computational capabilities and resources. These limitations constrain the use of conventional encryption algorithms and security protocols to prevent cloning and counterfeiting of an RFID tag. Therefore, we propose to create an electronic fingerprint of a tag based upon the physical attributes of the tag. We have fingerprinted RFID tags based upon their minimum power responses measured at multiple frequencies. The fingerprint can be used effectively to identify the tags in the future with high probability and to detect counterfeit tags. This mechanism does not increase the cost of the tag and can be applied to any existing tag, because it is independent of the computational capabilities and resources of the RFID tag.


Principal Investigator: Dale Thompson

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant from US National Science Foundation (NSF) CISE/CNS and the Cyber Trust area support under contract CNS-0716578.

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