The Quirks and Conundrums of RFID Security

Ari Juels
RSA Laboratories

RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) tags are microchips that communicate via radio. In common use today, they promise to become a ubiquitous tool for labeling objects and identifying people.

As soon-to-be pervasive authenticators, RFID tags often call for cryptography or other security measures to protect against counterfeiting and to ensure data privacy. Yet as cheap, constrained devices, RFID tags cannot always rely on conventional data-security tools.

In this talk, we'll discuss some of the idiosyncrasies and special applications that distinguish the problems of RFID security and privacy from those of more typical computing environments. Among the topics we'll touch on are covert channels, human-implantable RFID, and the use of radio-layer features in security design.

Biography: Ari Juels is principal research scientist and manager at RSA Laboratories and a co-founder of RavenWhite Inc. While RFID security and privacy have been a recent emphasis of his research, Dr. Juels has also published papers in the last several years on denial-of-service countermeasures, Internet privacy protection, electronic voting, biometric security, and user authentication. For more information, visit

Presentation (PowerPoint File)

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