Paper 2006/015

A Family of Dunces: Trivial RFID Identification and Authentication Protocols

Gene Tsudik


Security and privacy in RFID systems is an important and active research area. A number of challenges arise due to the extremely limited computational, storage and communication abilities of a typical RFID tag. This paper describes a step-by-step construction of a family of simple protocols for inexpensive untraceable identification and authentication of RFID tags. This work is aimed primarily at RFID tags that are capable of performing a small number of inexpensive conventional (as opposed to public key) cryptographic operations. It also represents the first result geared for so-called {\em batch mode} of RFID scanning whereby the identification (and/or authentication) of tags is delayed. Proposed protocols involve minimal interaction between a tag and a reader and place very low computational burden on the tag. Notably, they also impose low computational load on back-end servers.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Early (short) version appeared in PerCom'06 (WiP session). Full version appeared in PET'07.
RFID privacydevice authentication
Contact author(s)
gts @ ics uci edu
2007-09-28: revised
2006-01-17: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Gene Tsudik},
      title = {A Family of Dunces: Trivial RFID Identification and Authentication Protocols},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2006/015},
      year = {2006},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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