Mass deployment of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is now becoming feasible for a wide variety of applications ranging from medical to supply chain and retail environments. Its main draw-back until recently was high production costs, which are now becoming lower and acceptable. But due to inherent constraints of RFID technology (in terms of limited power and computational resources) these devices are the subject of intensive research on how to support and improve increasing demands for security and privacy. This chapter therefore focuses on security and privacy issues by giving a general overview of the field, the principles, the current state of the art, and future trends. An improvement in the field of security and privacy solutions for this kind of wireless communications is described as well.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Security Service: A service provided by an entity to ensure adequate security of data or systems in terms of authentication, confidentiality, integrity, and nonrepudiation.
Tag: A small, low cost IC with unique ID and computational capabilities to support identification processes.
Reader: A device that queries tags to obtain their IDs and that is connected to the back-end part of information systems.
Active Tag: A tag that has some source of energy, for example, a battery.
Passive Tag: A tag that is powered through electromagnetic coupling and obtains power from the reader.
Tag’s Identity (ID): This is a unique number for each tag that is stored in silicon with imprinting process.
Singulation: A process (an algorithm) that enables isolation and identification of a single tag.
RFID Technology: Wireless identification technology that operates in radio frequencies and deploys low-cost ICs.
Security Mechanism: A basis for a security service, where using a particular security mechanism (e.g., cryptographic algorithm) enables the implementation of security service.
Kill Operation: Upon receipt of a certain communication primitive a tag becomes permanently blocked, for example, by blowing a fuse in its circuitry.
Wireless Security: Minimization of vulnerabilities of assets and resources when communicating information in electromagnetic media through a free-space environment.