RFID security threats to consumers: Hype vs. reality

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Rao, Shantanu
Thanthry, Nagaraja
Pendse, Ravi

Rao, S.; Thanthry, N.; Pendse, R.; , "RFID Security Threats to Consumers: Hype vs. Reality," Security Technology, 2007 41st Annual IEEE International Carnahan Conference on , vol., no., pp.59-63, 8-11 Oct. 2007 doi: 10.1109/CCST.2007.4373468


Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are being adopted rapidly by retail giants such as Wal-Mart In the near future these tags will be used for item level tracking of consumer products such as milk cartons, television sets, and clothing. While this technology brings many benefits to consumers, such as increased convenience and efficiency through automation, it has also caused a lot of concerns about its potentially adverse impact on consumers' personal privacy. Researchers have theorized various threats relating to clandestine tracking and clandestine inventorying of RFIDs. In this paper the authors research practical security threats to consumers in an RFIO environment The authors study various RFID standards and types of RFID tags that are proposed for consumer products. Initial analysis reveals that not all theoretical security threats translate into practical concerns for consumers' privacy. Based on this analysis the authors build a risk model with which consumers can quantify various threats that RFID poses to their information security and privacy. Such evaluation will assist in creating risk-appropriate threat mitigation strategies in consumer RFID environments.

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