Securing Passive RFID Tags Using Strong Cryptographic Algorithms

Conference: RFID SysTech 2008 - 4th European Workshop on RFID Systems and Technologies
06/10/2008 - 06/11/2008 at Freiburg, Germany

Proceedings: RFID SysTech 2008

Pages: 2Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Feldhofer, Martin (Institute for Applied Information Processing and Communications, 8010 Graz, Austria)

The motivation for integrating strong cryptographic algorithms into passive RFID tags is to prevent counterfeiting of goods, providing privacy protection, and granting protected access to the tag’s memory. In contrast to contactless smart cards, passive RFID tags have fierce constraints concerning power consumption and chip area due to the increased operating range and the silicon costs of a passive tag. Authentication allows to achieve the security goals by means of challenge-response protocols. What about the implementation costs of the cryptographic primitives? An extensive evaluation of several symmetric-key algorithms and public-key primitives has been done. A comparison shows the performance figures of block ciphers, stream ciphers, hash functions, and public-key algorithms. In order to provide a proof-of-concept, two prototypes of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) are available in silicon. Further topics like attacks on RFID systems and implementation security will be covered shortly.