Elite News

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tag, You're it! It's the RFID tag game!

You know those RFID tags that everyone is talking about? Well, guess what? They are prone to viruses too! :-O

My sources tells me that (and I quote) " The attacks can come in the form of a SQL injection or a buffer overflow attack even though the tags themselves may only store a small bit of information, the paper said. For demonstration purposes, the researchers created a proof-of-concept, self-replicating RFID virus. " Of course, the good news is that this virus only exists as a proof of concept as of today. No dangerous virus writers out there are exploiting RFID's yet. (Or none that the media knows about...) But obviously, once everything has RFID's (including humans cuz some companies already have their employees tagged by these things), we're bound to see a lot of headaches and mishaps with this iffy technology.

What kind of mishaps you ask? Well, there are plenty, but to name one off the top of my lips, I quote my sources saying " RFID systems may be attractive to criminals since the data contained on them may have a financial or personal nature, such as information stored on digital passports. In addition to causing damage to computer systems, RFID malware may have an effect on real-world objects, the paper said." Let me expand on the RFID tags in our passport for a little bit. Having RFID tags in our passports holding our information that can be picked up and read by some random scanner is kind of like using your sensitive bank account password at a open wireless hot spot (which we all know, or should know, is very insecure and a very bad idea). Having that information in a chip that can be read by any modified scanner is like walking around in public with a long name tag that has all your private information written neatly on it for anyone to read. An ID thief can just steal all our precious information without even having to pick pocket us. I hope some where in the future, someone will invent a RFID jammer like they do with Cell Phone Jammers. This way, at least when you are standing in line at the airport, only when you hand your passport over to the security screener can it be scanned to verify your passport is real and you are who it says you are. But as the beginning of this entry was mentioning, if someone can hack the RFID database by infecting an RFID tag with a virus, then maybe even the information that pops up on the screener's monitor might be false...

So what's your two and a half cents on this issue? I sure was troubled by the potential misuse of RFID's when it first came out. Now I'm even more troubled... maybe i should just toss out my computer altogether and live like an amish?


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